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Burger King Corporation Vs. Ranjan Gupta and Ors. - (High Court of Delhi) (06 Mar 2023)

Registrations of the Plaintiff in multiple jurisdictions creates a stronger presumption that the Plaintiff's trademark has reputation in the market


Intellectual Property Rights

The present suit has been filed on behalf of the Plaintiff seeking relief of permanent injunction restraining the Defendants from infringing Plaintiff's trademark 'BURGER KING' and its formative marks, passing off their goods as that of the Plaintiff along with other ancillary reliefs.

There was 'bona fide use' on behalf of the plaintiff of the trademark 'BURGER KING' in the relevant period between August, 2009 and August, 2014 and there was no intention on behalf of the Plaintiff to abandon the said trademark. It may be relevant to note that as a consequence of the preparatory work carried out by the Plaintiff, the first BURGER KING restaurant was opened in India on 9th November, 2014 and as on date there are more than 300 BURGER KING Restaurants in India.

The Defendants have failed to place any material in support of their submission that, the trademark 'BURGER KING' is either generic or common to trade. It cannot be denied that, the Plaintiff has used the trademark 'BURGER KING' since 1954 and holds registrations for the said mark in over 122 countries including India. The Division Bench of this Court in M.A.C Personal Care Pvt. Ltd. & Anr. v. Laverana GMBH and Co. K.G. & Anr., observed that the registrations of the Plaintiff in multiple jurisdictions create an even stronger presumption that the Plaintiff's trademark has reputation in the market. It was further observed that, if a trademark is registered in favour of the plaintiff in a jurisdiction abroad, the said fact suggests that the mark of the plaintiff is distinctive and hence, the same is capable of distinguishing the plaintiff's trademark from those of other businesses.

The plea raised by the Defendant with regard to the invalidity of registrations granted in favour of the Plaintiff in respect of the trademark BURGER KING and other formative marks, is prima facie not tenable. There is no reasonable prospect of the Defendants succeeding in the cancellation petitions filed by them. Therefore, no issue with regard to validity of the registrations of trademarks of the plaintiff is liable to be framed in the facts and circumstances of the present case.


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