26 May 2017

Trademarks – German origin word which is not indicative of business, is not generic

Taking note of the fact that plaintiff had acquired a distinctive reputation and goodwill of its own under the trade names “ASIAN HAUS” and “SUSHI HAUS” for its food delivery outlets, Delhi High Court has restrained the defendants by an interim injunction from using the name “HAUS” for latter’s food delivery outlets in the name of “Curry Haus”.

The Court in it decision dated 9-5-2017 relied on the sales figures of the plaintiff and increase in the number of their outlets during a period of time. It rejected the contention of the defendant that the word “HAUS” is a well-known terminology and no one can have a monopoly on this word.

Further, observing that the word “HAUS” does not find mention in the English dictionary, and that the definition of “HAUS” in the German dictionary being “HOUSE” is not indicative of the business which the plaintiff has set up, which is the supply of food at the doorstep of the customer, the Court also found ‘dishonest intent’ on the part of the defendant.

It was also held that word “HAUS” having a German origin cannot be said to be an ordinary generic word.


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