The Delhi High Court has permanently restrained an aviation studies portal from using the mark ‘Vistara’ for selling products on its website as well as on e-commerce portals, observing that the mark “Vistara is quite popular” and has “acquired a unique status”.
Justice Pratibha M Singh also directed M/s Pilot18 Aviation Book Store – which operates an aviation studies portal called http://www.pilot18.com – and its owner to pay costs of Rs two lakh to Tata SIA Airlines Ltd – a joint venture of TATA Sons Private Ltd and Singapore Airlines Ltd.
“The mark Vistara is quite popular in India and has acquired a unique status. It is a distinctive mark that enjoys enormous goodwill and reputation in the airline, travel and tourism industry. Use of this mark, even in respect of unrelated services would create confusion and deception. It deserves to be declared as a well-known mark,” the high court said.
The mark ‘Vistara’ has been used by Tata SIA Airlines Ltd since 2014 for airline services.
The court’s order came after Tata SIA Airlines Ltd, operator of Vistara Airlines, moved the court seeking to restrain the aviation portal from selling of ‘Vistara’ branded products on its website as well as on e-commerce portals like Amazon and Snapdeal.
The http://www.pilot18.com claimed before the high court that they have not used the trademark ‘Vistara’ and that the airline company has concocted a false story.
To this, the court appointed a local commissioner to look into the matter, who found a large number of products bearing the mark ‘Vistara’ being used by the portal. The portal’s owner did not accept the same and claimed themselves to be innocent.
However, the court, in its seven-page order, noted that “a perusal of the statement (portal’s owner) shows that the plea taken in the written statement was false, i.e., that defendants (portal and its owner) had not used the mark ‘Vistara’. This is a grave misstatement made by the Defendants in the face of the Commissioner’s report and in the face of the admission in the statement recorded on 25th July, 2019.”