Bengaluru's Vidyarthi Bhavan Wins Trademark Infringement Case Against Shimogga Restaurant A civil Court in Bangalore has issued a permanent injunction order, prohibiting a restaurant in Shimoga from infringing and using the registered trademark of Vidyarthi Bhavan, a well-known restaurant in Bangalore. The suit filed by M/s Vidyarthi Bhavan, through its partner S. Arun Kumar Adiga,...
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Bengaluru's Vidyarthi Bhavan Wins Trademark Infringement Case Against Shimogga Restaurant
A civil Court in Bangalore has issued a permanent injunction order, prohibiting a restaurant in Shimoga from infringing and using the registered trademark of Vidyarthi Bhavan, a well-known restaurant in Bangalore.
The suit filed by M/s Vidyarthi Bhavan, through its partner S. Arun Kumar Adiga, was partly allowed by Additional City Civil Judge Padma Prasad, who passed the permanent injunction order.
The plaintiff, a registered partnership firm, has been operating a vegetarian restaurant under the trade name "Vidyarthi Bhavan" since 1956. The restaurant falls under classes 42 and 43 of the Trademarks Act, 1999, and has built up an outstanding reputation and goodwill.
According to the allegations, Kiran Gowda began operating VB Vidhathri Bhavan in 2018 by unauthorisedly adopting the registered trademark of the plaintiff. It was contended that the defendant had no authority or entitlement to use the trading style VB Vidhathri Bhavan for running a restaurant since both the plaintiff and the defendant are involved in the common business of providing food, and the use of a similar trade name is leading to customer confusion.
It was also disclosed that despite filing a police complaint, the defendant conducted a press conference and promoted the opening of VB Vidhathri Bhavan with the tagline "Bangalore Food Trend in Shimogga." The defendant displayed banners and hoardings throughout Shimogga and advertised the same in local newspapers.
Upon reviewing the records, the Court found that the defendants had used the trade name "Vidyarthi Bhavan" and subsequently changed it to a name that closely resembled the original by altering some spellings, adding a prefix of VB, and continuing to use the name "Vidhathri Bhavan".
The names "VIDHATHRI" and "VIDYARTHI" appear almost identical, and an ordinary person may not be able to distinguish much between the two names, the Court observed.
“Therefore, certainly the name used by the defendant is deceptively similar to the plaintiff’s registered trade name,” the Court stated.
The Court observed that the defendant did not counter the plaintiff's claim that they are using the plaintiff's trade name deceptively. Additionally, the defendant did not provide any evidence to prove that their name is not deceptively similar to the plaintiff's trade name.
The Court found in favour of the plaintiff's case regarding the infringement and passing off of their registered trade name. It noted that there was no evidence provided by the defendant to counter the plaintiff's claim that their name is deceptively similar. Therefore, the Court ordered a permanent injunction, stating that the defendant is prohibited from infringing and passing off the plaintiff's registered trademark "VIDYARTHI BHAVAN" as stated in the lawsuit.
As the defendants had changed the name of their restaurant during the course of the suit, the Court declined to order the payment of damages of ₹25,000, as requested in the suit. The Court stated that since the defendant operates a business in Shimogga and the plaintiff does not have any restaurant business in Shimogga, it would not be appropriate to award damages.
The Court granted partial relief to the plaintiff and ordered the defendant to destroy all materials that infringed upon the plaintiff's registered trademark.