The Delhi High Court has restrained the DPS World Foundation — which has several prominent alumni — and former Union minister Salman Khurshid from using the DPS name, or the trademark crest of the schools.
The case is likely to have wider ramifications for trademark over institutions, with one of the issues involved in the trial being whether alumni of an institution have the right to use the name of the institution as their own. “The fact that the defendant No. 1 has made membership open to institutional members on payment of fee, surely, the belief that education is a religious duty and charitable activity, is weaning,” observed the bench of Justice V Kameswar Rao.
The DPS Society had filed a plea last year against the use of the words ‘DPS world’ by the foundation. The society had claimed that the distinctive crest with a mashaal held in a hand, inside a shield had been used by the DPS schools since 1948. The alumni, and Khurshid — who had been a lifetime member of the society till his controversial expulsion in 2015 — had ‘misappropriated’ the name and the crest. The plea had also alleged that the foundation was opening schools using the name DPS World School, which amounted to infringement of the society’s copyright.
The DPS World foundation argued that the alumni had the right to use the name as they had a “filial link” to the schools.
Khurshid also said as an alumnus of the school, he was linked to the brand name itself.
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