The Delhi High Court said it is the duty of legal professionals, especially intellectual property rights (IPR) lawyers, to ensure that they do not imitate or adopt a name or a logo already used by others offering similar services.

“This Court is of the view that higher standards of probity would be expected of lawyers and legal professionals, in particular IPR lawyers, insofar as it is their responsibility to ensure that they do not imitate or do not adopt a name or logo that is already existing or used by another person or entity, offering similar services, ” Judge Pratibha M Singh said.

The court made the observations in its interim order in a suit brought by a Delhi-based intellectual property lawyer, Sujata Chaudhri, owner and founder of an intellectual property law firm. Sujata Chaudhri IP Lawyers. Chaudhri sued Swarupa Ghosh, a Kolkata-based lawyer, for adopting an almost identical logo for her chamber.

Judge Singh, in the order, said Chaudhri had established a prima facie case for the granting of an interim measure injunction and the balance of convenience plays in his favour. “Moreover, irreparable harm would be caused to the plaintiff if the interim injunction were not granted. Thus, the defendant should not be allowed to use its logo, which is almost identical to the plaintiff’s logo,” the court said.

As a result, the court prohibited Ghosh from using the SG logo with effect from January 1, 2023. “If the defendant wishes to adopt the alternative logo to resolve the matter amicably, it is permitted to file a motion in this Court,” Judge Singh said, while entering the case to be heard on January 13. .

Lawyer Dushyant K Mahant, representing Chaudhri, had earlier argued in court that she adopted the CS appliance brand in 2014, while the defendant only started practicing in 2017.

The court was informed that the plaintiff had attempted to resolve the case through pre-litigation mediation. “However, no amicable settlement could be found,” Mahant said.

On the other hand, attorney Rajeshwari H., appearing for Ghosh, argued that his client was a authentic adopting the SG logo which was based on the ITC Edwardian Script Font. It has been argued that the said font is a freely available public domain font and therefore there can be no monopoly on it.

Judge Singh said a comparison of the logos shows they are nearly identical. It is almost impossible to decipher the differences between the two, the court observed.

The court also noted that Chaudhri’s logo is part of the registered Class 45 mark in which the stylized mark of the device is clearly visible. The mark forms an inalienable part of the registration and in such circumstances the use of an almost identical logo for identical services would violate Chaudhri’s statutory and common law rights, he added.

“The mere fact that the font may be a freely available font does not mean that the same font must be used by Defendant, from among the thousands of available policy options. Plaintiff has, in good faith, attempted resolution at the amicable before the filing of the present complaint which also did not lead to any result. It is therefore clear that the intervention of the Court would be necessary in these facts, “said the Court.

In the meantime, the court issued a subpoena to the defendant in the lawsuit.

“A written statement on demand must be filed affirmatively within 30 days. Along with the written statement, the defendant must also file an affidavit of admission/refusal of plaintiff’s documents, without which the written statement will not be recorded. , “It said.

Title: SUJATA CHAUDHRI c. SWARUPA GHOSH

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Del) 1049

Click here to read the order