Delhi High Court: In a trademark infringement suit filed by a company namely, Impresario Entertainment and Hospitality Pvt Ltd. (‘plaintiff’) running a well-known restaurant, SOCIAL against the offending trademark SOCIAL 75 (‘defendant’), Jyoti Singh J. granted ex parte ad-interim injunction, as the impugned trademark is deceptively similar to the registered trademark of the Plaintiff.

It is the case of the Plaintiff that it is running various well-known restaurants and coffee shops including Smoke House Deli, Salt Water Cafe, Le Kebabiere, The Tasting Room, Prithvi Cafe, Flea Bazar and Social. Plaintiff commenced business in the year 2001 and since then various restaurants have opened under different names including ‘SOCIAL’. Plaintiff is recognized as a provider of high-quality services and is a well-known name in the hospitality industry.

The plaintiff contended that Defendant is the sole proprietor of the restaurant with the offending trademark ‘SOCIAL 75′ in Jamshedpur.

The Point of similarity claimed is as under

1.The trademark ‘SOCIAL’ is copied in its entirety by the Defendant;

2. The trademark ‘SOCIAL 75′ is being represented in color orange by the Defendant, which is identical to the color used by the Plaintiff for representing ‘SOCIAL’;

3. The manner of suffixing the trademark ‘SOCIAL’ with another phrase, in this case being ‘75′ is identical to the Plaintiff’s concept, the only difference being that the Plaintiff prefixes the trademark ‘SOCIAL’ usually with the name of the area in which the restaurant/bar is located;

4. The services provided by the Plaintiff and Defendant are identical and have the same target audience.

The plaintiffs further contended that Plaintiff is a prior adopter and user of the registered trademark ‘SOCIAL’ and its variants and use of the impugned mark by the Defendant amounts to infringement under Section 29 of the Trade Marks Act, 1999. It is clear that the adoption of a deceptively similar trademark by the Defendant is aimed at misrepresenting to the general public that the source of these goods is the Plaintiff.

The Court held that Plaintiff has made out a prima facie case for grant of ex parte ad-interim injunction, as the impugned trademark is deceptively similar to the registered trademark of the Plaintiff and the balance of convenience also lies in favour of the Plaintiff and it is thus, likely to suffer irreparable harm in case the injunction, as prayed for, is not granted.

[Impresario Entertainment and Hospitality Pvt Ltd., v. Social 75, 2022 SCC OnLine Del 2830, decided on 31-08-2022]

Advocates who appeared in this case :

Ms. Shikha Sachdeva, Ms. Mugdha Palsula and Ms. Shreya Das, Advocates, for the Plaintiff.

*Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has put this report together.

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