Madras High Court rejects Aachi masala group’s plea over use of trademark

"On a perusal of the labels of both Aachi and Aarcee, it is clear that excepting the asafoetida sachet, the labels of all other products of Aarcee are not similar," the court said.

By: PTI | Chennai | Published:October 8, 2016 5:45 pm
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The Madras High Court has dismissed a plea by leading food products maker Aachi Masala Foods (P) Ltd, seeking to restrain another masala products company from manufacturing, advertising and selling spices using the trademark “AARCEE” or any other similar sounding expression. The court had recently dismissed the appeal by Aachi Masala Foods (P) Ltd, famous for making ‘mirchi masala’ products, against Aarcee Megha Masala Foods (P) Ltd.

“On a perusal of the labels of both Aachi and Aarcee, it is clear that excepting the asafoetida sachet, the labels of all other products of Aarcee are not similar,” the court said.

In the labels, the words “Aarcee Megha Masala, The Real Choice” are printed, and especially the words “Megha Masala” are printed in bold letters. The trade word is also “AARCEE,” whereas the words of the appellants are “AACHI,” it said.

On the packaging of various products of AARCEE, the court noted that the background colours are different from those of the appellant’s products. Also there was no phonetic or visual similarity in respect of those items as alleged, it said.

Aarcee had submitted that they manufacture various spices and masala powders using the trademark ‘Aarcee in Megha Masala, The Real Choice’.

It said the words ‘Megha Masala’ have been prominently printed in bigger letters than ‘AARCEE’.

Besides, the words ‘The REAL CHOICE’ were also printed below the words ‘MEGHA MASALA’. Therefore, the trademark used by “Aarcee” is clearly distinguishable from that of “Aachi.”

Hence, there cannot be any confusion in the minds of consumers as alleged by Aachi, it said.

The court after going through the materials placed before it, including the labels, dismissed the application filed by Aachi.

Tamil Nadu based Aachi Group, run by Founder-Chairman A D Padmasingh Isaac, a first generation entrepreneur, is engaged in manufacturing and marketing of spices and foods globally.

The company has registered over 30 per cent Compounded Annual Growth Rate in the last three years and clocked turn over of Rs 1,000 crore in March 2015.

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