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Amritdhara Pharmacy vs Satyadeo Gupta - LawLex.Org

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AmritdharaPharmacyvsSatyadeoGupta
1963 AIR 449By : Shruti Thakur
©ShrutiThakur, LL.M., National Law University Jodhpur [www.lawlex.org]
Name of the Parties :AmritdharaPharmacyAppellant…SatyadeoGuptaRespondent…Bench : S.K.Das,M.Hidayatullah,J.C. Shah
© Shruti Thakur, LL.M., National Law University Jodhpur [www.lawlex.org]
BRIEF FACTS:
Therespondenthad applied for the registration of the trade nameLakshmandhara,inrespect of medicinal preparation for alleviation of various ailments. It was admitted that the respondent's product was mainly sold in the State of Uttar Pradesh since 1923.Theappellantopposed the registration on the ground that it had an exclusive proprietary interest in the trade mark"Amritdhara" in relation to a similar medicinal preparation which had acquired considerablerepu-tationsince 1903 and that the respondent's trade name "Lakshmandhara" was likely todeceiveand causeconfusion.
© Shruti Thakur, LL.M., National Law University Jodhpur [www.lawlex.org]
CONTENTIONS OF THE PETITIONER:
TheAppelantcontended that asAmritdhara,wasalready registered andLakshmandharabeing a similar name was likely to confuse and deceive the public.It was contended that the composite wordLakshmandharawas used to denote the same medicine asAmritdhara.The single worddharawas first used in conjunction withAmritdharato denote the medicine of the Appellant and the medicineLakshmandharabeing of the same nature and quality could be easily passed off asAmritdharato the ultimate purchaser.
© Shruti Thakur, LL.M., National Law University Jodhpur [www.lawlex.org]
CONTENTIONS OF THE RESPONDENT:
The said medicinal preparation had been in use by the name ofLakshmandharasince 1923 and no objection was raised from the appellant or anybody else.The respondent contended that the single worddharahad no particular significance in relation to the medicine.They stated that apart from the difference in name, the label and packaging ofLakshmandharahad exclusive design of their own and were not likely to be confused with any other medicine.He was the honest concurrent user ofLakshmandharasince 1923.
© Shruti Thakur, LL.M., National Law University Jodhpur [www.lawlex.org]
ISSUES:
Whether the nameLakshmandharawas likely todeceivethe public or causeconfusionto trade within the meaning of section 8 and section 10.Whether there was suchacquiescenceon behalf of the appellant in the use of the nameLakshmandharain the state of U.P as to bring it within the expression ‘special circumstances’ mentioned in section 10(2) of the act.
© Shruti Thakur, LL.M., National Law University Jodhpur [www.lawlex.org]
REGISTRAR OF TRADE MARK:
The registrar of the trade mark held that there was sufficient similarity betweenAmritdharaandLakshmandharaso as to cause confusion.On the point of honest and concurrent user the registrar found infavourof the appellant.The acquiescence of the appellant in the use of the trade nameLakshmandharaby the respondent for a long period to the knowledge of the appellant was special circumstance under section 10(2)entitling the respondent to have his name registered along with the appellants trade name.Registrar passed an order allowing registration ofLakshmandharafor sale in the state of U.P only.Bothappeallantand respondent appealed to the High Court.
© Shruti Thakur, LL.M., National Law University Jodhpur [www.lawlex.org]
APPEAL TO THE HIGH COURT:
High court said that there is no possibility of any Indian confusing the two ideas.Evenphoneticaldifferences are wide enough not to confuse anybody.The words of common language likeAmritandDharacannot be made the monopoly of any individual.As to honest and concurrent user from 1923 to 1942 the held infavourof the respondent.But on point ofacquiscencethe held infavourof the appellant.They held that there was no justification for refusing registration of the trade nameLakshmandharafor the whole of India.They allowed the appeal of the respondent and dismissed that of the appellant.The appellant received special leave from this court
© Shruti Thakur, LL.M., National Law University Jodhpur [www.lawlex.org]
APPEAL TO THE SUPREME COURT:
It was held that the question whether a trade name is likely to deceive or cause confusion by its resemblance to another already registered is a matter of first impression and one for decision in each case and has to be decided by taking the overall view of all circumstances.The standard of comparison to be adopted in judging the resemblance is from the point of view of a man of average intelligence and imperfect recollection.To such a man the overall and phonetic similarity of the two namesAmritdharaandLakshmandharais,likelyto deceive or cause confusion.As to acquiescence Supreme court is in agreement with the registrar of Trade marks.
© Shruti Thakur, LL.M., National Law University Jodhpur [www.lawlex.org]
Decision of the Supreme Court
The Supreme Court allowedthe appeal, setaside thejudgmentof the high court andrestoredthose of the registrar of trade marks.
©ShrutiThakur, LL.M., National Law University Jodhpur [www.lawlex.org]

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Amritdhara Pharmacy vs Satyadeo Gupta - LawLex.Org