Delhi High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of Rajiv Sahai Endlaw, J. rejected plaintiff’s interlocutory application in the suit seeking to restrain respondent-Apple Inc. from using the mark ‘SPLITVIEW’ in relation to any of its software products.

Plaintiff 1 was a software developer working as a consultant with Plaintiff 2. It was submitted that ‘SplitView’ was the trademark ascribed to its most successful commercial product, which was well known and widely recognized. The plaintiffs alleged that the defendant Apple Inc. launched an update to their operating software which included a feature named ‘SPLITVIEW’. It was alleged that SPLITVIEW  was functionally identical with plaintiff’s SplitView. In such circumstances, the above-mentioned action was brought by the plaintiffs against the defendant. The defendant contesting the suit submitted that SPLITVIEW or SplitView was a descriptive word and no monopoly could be claimed by the plaintiffs over it. Further, the term SPLIT VIEW was extensively used by other corporations like Microsoft, Samsung, etc.

The High Court considered the controversy and after examining each contention found that plaintiffs were not entitled to any interim relief. The Court noted that it was required to protect the plaintiffs only if it found the defendant to be passing off its goods and services as that of the plaintiffs. That was however not the case of the plaintiffs here. Further, the elements of irreparable injury and balance of convenience were not satisfied to merit grant of an interim injunction on the basis thereof. Accordingly, the interlocutory application was dismissed. [Rohit Singh v. Apple Inc., 2018 SCC OnLine Del 9635, order dated 04-07-2018]

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