File Copyright Online - File mutual Divorce in Delhi - Online Legal Advice - Lawyers in India

Case Law Analysis: Schloss HMA Pvt Ltd.v/s Sandeep Reddy

Facts of the Case:
Schloss HMA Pvt. Ltd.,
the applicant/plaintiff, filed a suit and an application for interim reliefs in the Bombay High Court, alleging that Sandeep Reddy, the defendant, infringed upon their registered trademark "LEELA" and engaged in passing off. The plaintiff claimed that they have been using the mark since 1986 in connection with their hospitality services, and they hold several registered trademarks associated with the mark "LEELA."

The defendant, on the other hand, argued that they have been using the mark "ANANTARA BY LEELA" since 2014 and that their services are distinct from those of the plaintiff. The court allowed the leave petition to combine the causes of action and considered the plaintiff's application for interim relief.

Court: Bombay High Court
Bench: Justice Manish Pitale
Date: 5 April 2023

Issues Involved:
  • Whether the defendant's use of the mark "ANANTARA BY LEELA" constitutes trademark infringement and passing off.
  • Whether the plaintiff is entitled to interim reliefs to protect their proprietary rights in the mark "LEELA."

Petitioner's Argument:
The senior counsel for the plaintiff argued that they have established their rights in the mark "LEELA" through continuous use since 1986 and subsequent trademark registrations. They presented evidence of their registered trademarks and claimed immense goodwill associated with the mark. The plaintiff contended that the defendant's use of the mark "ANANTARA BY LEELA" is likely to cause confusion among customers, as it resembles their registered trademarks. They also raised concerns about dilution of their trademark rights.

Respondent's Argument:
The defendant's counsel countered the plaintiff's claims by asserting that their use of the mark "ANANTARA BY LEELA" is distinct from the plaintiff's services. They claimed that their establishment, the Leela Convention Hall, primarily serves as a standalone convention hall for middle and lower-middle-class customers, while the plaintiff operates hotels and other high-end hospitality services. The defendant argued that there is no likelihood of confusion or infringement, as their customers and services are different.

The court examined the plaintiff's registered trademarks and emphasized that the word "LEELA" is a central and essential feature of their mark. It rejected the defendant's argument that the plaintiff's trademark, which includes the prefix "THE," would prevent them from asserting their rights against the defendant. The court noted that the plaintiff's registrations and continuous use of the mark entitled them to protection under the Trademarks Act, 1999. It also considered Section 29(4) of the Act, which addresses infringement when a similar mark is used in connection with different goods or services that may harm the distinctive character or reputation of the registered trademark.

Based on the evidence and arguments presented, the court found that the plaintiff had established their proprietary rights in the mark "LEELA" and that the defendant's use of the mark "ANANTARA BY LEELA" could potentially lead to confusion among customers. It disregarded the defendant's claim that their services were distinct, as online presence and advertising indicated accessibility to a broader customer base.

The court also rejected the defendant's argument regarding the proprietor's name being "Leela," as protection under the Trademarks Act only extends to the business owner's name. Considering the plaintiff's reputation, the court determined that the defendant's use of the mark could be detrimental to the distinctive character and reputation of the plaintiff's trademark, falling under Section 29(4) of the Act.

The court granted the plaintiff's application for interim relief, acknowledging the plaintiff's established rights in the mark "LEELA" and the potential harm that could arise from the defendant's use of the mark "ANANTARA BY LEELA." This decision reflects the court's commitment to protecting trademark rights and preventing confusion among consumers.

The grant of interim relief provides temporary protection to the plaintiff's trademark while the case proceeds, ensuring that their goodwill and reputation are safeguarded. It also highlights the significance of trademark registrations and continuous use in establishing and enforcing proprietary rights. This decision sets a precedent for similar cases involving trademark infringement and passing off, emphasizing the importance of protecting the distinctive character and reputation of registered trademarks.

Law Article in India

Ask A Lawyers

You May Like

Legal Question & Answers

Lawyers in India - Search By City

Copyright Filing
Online Copyright Registration


How To File For Mutual Divorce In Delhi


How To File For Mutual Divorce In Delhi Mutual Consent Divorce is the Simplest Way to Obtain a D...

Increased Age For Girls Marriage


It is hoped that the Prohibition of Child Marriage (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which intends to inc...

Facade of Social Media


One may very easily get absorbed in the lives of others as one scrolls through a Facebook news ...

Section 482 CrPc - Quashing Of FIR: Guid...


The Inherent power under Section 482 in The Code Of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (37th Chapter of t...

The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in India: A...


The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) is a concept that proposes the unification of personal laws across...

Role Of Artificial Intelligence In Legal...


Artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing various sectors of the economy, and the legal i...

Lawyers Registration
Lawyers Membership - Get Clients Online

File caveat In Supreme Court Instantly