After US-based global coffee giant Starbucks sued Delhi coffee chain SardarBuksh for allegedly using a similar name and logo, the latter has agreed to run its business under the trademark ‘Sardarji-Bakhsh’ Coffee before the Delhi High Court Thursday.
The partners of SardarBuksh, who were present before Justice Manmohan, submitted that they have exchanged an e-mail with Starbucks and that both parties have agreed to the terms and conditions over the change in logo and name for their outlets in Delhi.
Taking note of this, the court directed the parties to be bound by their settlement and not breach the terms.
SardarBuksh Coffee Pvt. Ltd, represented by senior advocate Chander M Lall, however, urged the court that if any third party uses the name ‘Bakhsh’, they be allowed to sue them. Accepting their request, the court recorded in its final order that if “the mark ‘Bakhsh’ (is) used by third party, the defendant (SardarBuksh Coffee Pvt. Ltd) has right to file a suit against it”.
The court also allowed Sardar Buksh’s request that they be given two more months to change the logo and name.
The New Delhi-based entrepreneurs and their counsel submitted that after two months, all outlets in Delhi will be called Sardarji-Bakhsh. While their upcoming 17 outlets will sport the new branding, the five older outlets will carry the SardarBuksh branding only for two months. Three of the outlets have already been renamed, the court was told.
The court, in its interim order on August 1, had asked the defendants to change their chain’s brand name to ‘Sardarji-Bakhsh’ as well as the logo.
Speaking to The Indian Express, one of the three partners, Sanmeet Singh Kalra, said at present, they have 25 outlets in Delhi. They soon plan to open more outlets in NCR and nearby states, he added. He also said that they had started their business from a cart in 2016.
In July, Seattle-based Starbucks filed a law suit in the High Court against the local chain for differentially copying the company’s name as well as their logo — the two-tailed mermaid — for illegally promoting their product.
Starbucks came to India in partnership with the Tata Group in 2012. It currently has 125 outlets in the country. Globally, the company runs 28,000 outlets in 70 countries.
Other local entrepreneurs, too, have encountered action from bigger companies in similar trademark cases.
In 2015, Ludhiana-based street vendor Ravinder Pal Singh Babbar, who operated Mr Singh Burger King, changed the brand to Mr Singh Food King after US-based Burger King took him to court.