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September 24, 2020

Descriptive Nature of Word Mark Not Relevant In Establishing Similarity Of Trade Dress

Author: Krithika Muthuraman

In the matter of Capital Food Pvt. Ltd. v. Radiant Indus Chem. Pvt. Ltd. [I.A. 8147/2020, 8148/2020 and 8149/2020 in CS(COMM) 379/2020], a Single Judge [Mukta Gupta, J.] of the High Court of Delhi (“Court”), vide Order dated September 16, 2020, granted an ad-interim injunction against the Defendant’s reproduction and imitation of Plaintiff’s original works in its marketing and advertising content as well as unauthorized use of a similar trade dress.

The Plaintiff claims to be the registered proprietor and user of the trademarks ‘SCHEZWAN CHUTNEY’‘CHING’S’ and ‘CHING’S SECRET’ in word and/or stylized forms in India, in respect of its range of ready to eat food products like dips, spreads, etc. The Plaintiff allegedly came across the Defendant’s product “Mrs. Food Rite SCHEZWAN CHUTNEY” for saleon an e-commerce platform. The Plaintiff also allegedly discovered that the Defendant has, on its social media page, copied the Plaintiff’s marketing and advertising content in relation to its claimed brand ‘SCHEZWAN CHUTNEY’.

The instant suit was filed alleging imitation of the Plaintiff’s original works in the marketing and advertising material, unauthorized use of an identical trademark and a similar trade-dress – all in relation to the Plaintiff’s ‘SCHEZWAN CHUTNEY’ product.


The Defendant contested the Plaintiff’s allegations by asserting that ‘SCHEZWAN CHUTNEY’ is generic and descriptive in respect of Indianized Chinese cuisine. The Defendant also relied on its ‘MRS. FOOD RITE’  mark being prominently displayed on its products.

While adjudicating on the interim applications, the Court took the view that ‘SCHEZWAN CHUTNEY’ is a descriptive term. Basis its prima facie findings vis-à-vis inter alia similarity in features of trade-dress, however, the Court granted an ad-interim injunction and held “…since the plea of the plaintiff is that there is a similarity of the trade dress, get up and SCHEZWAN CHUTNEY has been written in a highlighted manner so as to form a prominent label mark in red colour and that the defendant has also reproduced and copied its original works for marketing and advertising contents, this Court deems it fit to grant an ad-interim injunction…”

Disclaimer: Views, opinions, interpretations are solely those of the author, not of the firm (ALG India Law Offices LLP) nor reflective thereof. Author submissions are not checked for plagiarism or any other aspect before being posted.

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