Buying a bottle of ‘Sharbat’ may involve emotion, but not to the extent required by the makers of ‘Rooh Afza’, the Delhi High Court has asked the makers of ‘Dil Afza’ to stop allegedly indulging in trademarks. refusing to pass interim orders. Violation Hamdard Dispensary and Hamdard National Foundation (India) filed a suit before the High Court seeking protection against derogation and dilution of their trademark ‘Rooh Afza’ by ‘Dil Afza’ of Sadar Laboratories Pvt Ltd.
The complainants sought an interim order of injunction against the respondent stating that both the products were deceptively similar as the words ‘Dil’ and ‘Rooh’ denote deep feelings and the word ‘Afza’ is common to both.
Justice Asha Menon observed that prima facie, Hamdard has created a huge reputation and goodwill with respect to its trademark ‘Rooh Afza’, but it would be superfluous to believe that the use of the words ‘Rooh’ and ‘Dil’ would create confusion because They express deep feelings.
The court observed that while there can be no confusion for the common consumer, the common usage of the words ‘dil’ and ‘rooh’ do not denote the same thing. “Emotions may be involved in the purchase of a bottle of syrup, but not to the extent required by the learned counsel for the plaintiff. In any case, those who appreciate this deep feeling are first to distinguish between ‘soul’ and ‘Dil’. However, we are concerned with the common consumer, for whom, the common usage of the words ‘Dil’ and ‘Rooh’ do not mean the same thing,” the judge said in his order passed on Thursday.
“Equality is sought on the ground that ‘dil’ and ‘rooh’ carry deep feelings and that the word ‘afza’ is common to both… an extreme position even if consumers are connoisseurs to believe it. Will take it. That the use of the words ‘rooh’ and ‘dil’ will lead to confusion as they convey a deep feeling.”
The Court dismissed the complainant’s application for interim relief holding that no case was made out to prevent the respondent from marketing his ‘Sharbat’, and the Respondent was given ‘Dil Afza’ syrup/sharbat during pendency. To maintain proper account of sales. of this case and to submit it to the court on quarterly basis.
The respondent opposed the grant of interim relief in the case and said that the word ‘afza’, which means to increase or add, was common to the business of ‘sharbat’ and there were many players in the market who were using that word.
It was said that along with the words ‘heart’ and ‘ruh’, the former meant ‘heart’ and the second meant ‘soul’.
The respondent also stated that ‘Dil Afza’ was in use since 1949 and there was never any confusion with the product of the plaintiff.