The Court said that the defaulter company, Vivanta Hospitality Private Limited was using the trademark ‘Vivanta’ in its trade name ‘Vivanta Vacation Club’ which was identical to the mark of hotels run by the Tata Group.
The Delhi High Court recently restrained a hospitality company from using “Vivanta” mark and also imposed ₹6 lakh costs on the company in a trademark infringement suit filed by Tata Group’s Indian Hotels Company Limited [The Indian Hotels Company Limited v Vivanta Hospitality Private Limited]
Single-judge Justice Amit Bansal observed that the defaulter company, Vivanta Hospitality Private Limited was using the trademark ‘Vivanta’ in its trade name ‘Vivanta Vacation Club’ which was identical to the mark of the hotels run by the Tata Group.
The same was done with an intent to springboard its business by drawing an association with Indian Hotels and to ride on its goodwill and reputation, the Court said.
“Insofar as delivery up for the purpose of destruction, as sought in prayer clause (v) is concerned, all the seized goods bearing the mark “VIVANTA” in the premises of the defendant shall be destroyed by the defendant in the presence of the plaintiff’s representative,” the Court ordered.
The order was passed in suit filed by Indian Hotels Company Limited (plaintiff) seeking the relief of permanent injunction restraining the defendant from infringing the trademark of the plaintiff, passing off and other ancillary reliefs.
The Court noted that the hospitality company had not only taken unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Indian Hotels’ Vivanta mark, but had also deceived unwary consumers of their association with the latter.
This, the Court said, would also lead to the dilution and tarnishment of Indian Hotels’ mark.
The counsel for Indian Hotels argued that it first coined and adopted the mark ‘Vivanta’ for its hotels and other services in the year 2008, and that it is the registered proprietor of the trademark.
It was added that it has 35 Vivanta hotels across 33 destinations along with a website dedicated to its hotels under the brand name Vivanta.
In an investigation carried out by Indian Hotels investigator, it was revealed that there were more than 100 consumer complaints made by customers, who were under the impression that the defendant-company was associated with Indian Hotels
“The report of the Local Commissioner shows that that the defendant is engaged in the business similar to the plaintiff, under the trade name identical/deceptively similar to that of the plaintiff. The inventory prepared by the Local Commissioner shows that a large stock of infringing material was found at the premises of the defendant. Photographs have been filed along with the Report showing that the defendant is using the name “VIVANTA VACATION CLUB” in its ordinary course of business prominently,” the Court noted.
The user traffic may be diverted due to the use of the same or similar domain name, which could result in a user mistakenly accessing one domain name instead of the one intended, the Court said.
“A domain name may therefore, have all the characteristics of a trademark and could result in an act of passing off. Similarly, the use of “VIVANTA VACATION CLUB” as a part of their trade name is also likely to deceive unwary consumers of their association with the plaintiffs,” the Court noted.
Considering the fact that the plaintiff had deposited the Court fee and also incurred expenses in executing the commission, costs of ₹6 lakh is imposed on the defendant, which shall be paid by May 31, 2023, the Court directed.
“In view thereof, counsel for the plaintiff does not press for relief of rendition of accounts, damages and other remaining reliefs sought in the plaint,” the court added.
Plaintiff was represented by Advocates Pravin Anand, Achuthan Sreekumar, Rohil Bansal and Apoorva Prasad R.
Source : Bar And Bench