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Delhi High Court affirms 'well-known' status for Haldiram trademark | Deets Inside

The Delhi High Court's decision to declare 'Haldiram' as a 'well-known' mark is a milestone in India's trademark law. It not only recognises the brand's significant cultural and commercial imprint but also underscores the need for robust legal protections for well-known trademarks.

Rahul Pratyush Written By: Rahul Pratyush New Delhi Published on: April 04, 2024 13:48 IST
Haldiram trademark
Image Source : GOOGLE Delhi High Court affirms 'well-known' status for Haldiram trademark

In a major victory for the Indian snack giant, the Delhi High Court has declared the brand name "Haldiram" and its red oval logo as a ‘well-known’ trademark." This applies not just to Haldiram's food products but also to their restaurants and eateries.

The case emerged when Haldiram filed a lawsuit against the Haryana-based 'Haldiram Restro Private Ltd' and its proprietors. The defendants were allegedly exploiting the 'Haldiram Bhujiawala' mark to endorse products like ghee, salt, wheat flour, packaged water, and basmati rice. Haldiram sought to restrain the defendants from selling their products under any deceptively similar marks.

Haldiram sought the court's protection for its trademark name. Additionally, the company asked for a declaration that the 'Haldiram' mark and its variations, including 'Haldiram Bhujiawala', be recognised as 'well-known' under the Trade Marks Act.

Justice Prathiba Singh of the Delhi High Court noted that a 'well-known' mark is dynamic in nature. She said, “This court is of the opinion that the concept of a ‘well-known’ mark is ‘dynamic’. A well-known mark has the ability to imbue products with distinctiveness and assurance of quality that extends beyond mere geographical confines. The plaintiff exports its products not just within Asia, but to a large span of other countries.” 

This declaration by the High Court implies that the owner can prevent any entity from seeking registration or using identical or similar trademarks, even in relation to different goods and services. “Such dynamism aims to safeguard the goodwill and trust a mark commands among consumers, irrespective of territorial divisions,” added the bench.

The High Court awarded Haldiram Rs 50 lakh as damages and Rs 2 lakh as costs. The defendant entity was permanently restrained from using the contested marks that are deceptively similar to Haldiram’s.

The Delhi High Court noted that the 'Haldiram' brand, which has its origins deeply rooted in India’s rich culinary tradition, has not only established a presence within India but has also extended its influence globally. The lawsuit, according to Justice Singh, presented a "unique scenario" in which the reputation of Haldiram necessitates a flexible and evolving understanding of territorial rights in the era of global connectedness and shifting market dynamics.

The Delhi High Court's ruling sets a precedent for other companies seeking to protect their trademarks. It also sends a clear message about the importance of maintaining a brand's integrity and reputation in the face of potential infringement.


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