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Thursday, July 09, 2020

Bombay HC declares ‘ISKCON’ ‘well-known’ trademark, restrains apparel company from using name

The religious organisation submitted that it discovered infringement by apparel company in February this year and sent repeated summons to the defendant company which went unanswered.

Written by Omkar Gokhale | Mumbai | Updated: June 29, 2020 1:38:13 am
Bombay Hc oin relese of prisoners, Maharashtra jails, Maharahstra government, Maharashtra coronavirus, Maharashtra covid deaths, Indian express The organisation had sought from the court to restrain the apparel company from using its trademark. (File)

The Bombay High Court has said that ISKCON is a “well-known trademark” in India and is associated with the religious organisation International Society for Krishna Consciousness and none else.

A single-judge bench of Justice Burgess P Colabawalla Friday passed the order, through video-conference, on a commercial intellectual property (IP) suit filed by the religious organisation against apparel company ISKCON Apparel Pvt Ltd alleging that the manufacturer had infringed its registered trademark to sell clothes online.

The religious organisation, through advocate Hiren Kamod, submitted that it discovered infringement by apparel company in February this year and sent repeated summons to the company which went unanswered. The organisation had sought from the court to restrain the apparel company from using its trademark.

The plea said the defendant, running an online clothing business had changed the company’s name to Alcis Sports Pvt Ltd, but continued to use the term ISKCON prominently in all of their products.

Observing that the religious organisation had “made out a strong prima facie case and that balance of convenience lied in its favour”, the court in March this year had granted an ad-interim injunction restraining apparel company from using the trade name until the case was decided. The court had said that the plaintiff organisation would likely suffer irreparable injury if the infringement by apparel company and passing off had continued.

On Friday, the court observed, “Since ISKCON is a coined mark which is exclusively associated with the plaintiff religious organisation, it undoubtedly deserves the highest degree of protection. The documents evidently show that the trademark ISKCON has acquired immense and long-standing reputation and goodwill throughout India and it is associated with the plaintiff and none else.”

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