w w w . L a w y e r S e r v i c e s . i n

Parakh Vanijya Private Limited v/s Baroma Agro Product & Others

Company & Directors' Information:- R T AGRO PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U15400MH1988PTC122934

Company & Directors' Information:- K F AGRO PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U01132PB1998PTC021937

Company & Directors' Information:- S K K AGRO PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U01110DL2007PTC163157

Company & Directors' Information:- B R V AGRO PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U15139UP2007PTC034299

Company & Directors' Information:- K S VANIJYA PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U67120AS1992PTC010826

Company & Directors' Information:- R S VANIJYA PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U51420WB1996PTC081897

Company & Directors' Information:- B. P AGRO INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U15132DL2019PTC357421

Company & Directors' Information:- PARAKH VANIJYA PVT. LTD. [Active] CIN = U51109WB1995PTC068838

Company & Directors' Information:- M Y AGRO PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U51221DL2011PTC215043

Company & Directors' Information:- C F L AGRO PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U01409KA2001PTC028797

Company & Directors' Information:- L K AGRO PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U15140MH1998PTC115185

Company & Directors' Information:- H D AGRO PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U01111MH1996PTC097451

Company & Directors' Information:- R G VANIJYA PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U70101WB2006PTC110481

Company & Directors' Information:- P C L AGRO PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1992PTC049537

Company & Directors' Information:- A S AGRO PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1989PTC040467

Company & Directors' Information:- S N N AGRO PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U01114JH2016PTC008919

Company & Directors' Information:- A R R PRODUCT INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U00292TZ2005PTC011514

Company & Directors' Information:- D. J. AGRO PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U01112DL1994PTC057414

Company & Directors' Information:- M D VANIJYA PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U51101WB2010PTC148667

Company & Directors' Information:- S G AGRO PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U01122KA1995PTC017091

Company & Directors' Information:- B M VANIJYA PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U70101WB1995PTC073217

Company & Directors' Information:- B A B AGRO LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U24231MH1993PLC073114

Company & Directors' Information:- B A B AGRO LTD [Active] CIN = U24233WB1987PLC043179

Company & Directors' Information:- K. K. AGRO PVT. LTD. [Strike Off] CIN = U51420WB1987PTC042090

Company & Directors' Information:- P V VANIJYA PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U51109WB1994PTC065477

Company & Directors' Information:- A Q AGRO PVT LTD [Under Process of Striking Off] CIN = U51209WB2006PTC109930

Company & Directors' Information:- S A VANIJYA PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U51909WB2011PTC166201

Company & Directors' Information:- T & T AGRO PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U01132WB1999PTC090368

Company & Directors' Information:- PARAKH AGRO PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U01122WB1990PTC048312

Company & Directors' Information:- M R P PRODUCT PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U17111UP1993PTC015576

Company & Directors' Information:- R. K. VANIJYA PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U20232WB2011PTC162024

Company & Directors' Information:- S & P AGRO PRODUCT PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U01111TN2005PTC056416

Company & Directors' Information:- P S VANIJYA PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U51909WB2020PTC238255

Company & Directors' Information:- R E I AGRO LTD. [Active] CIN = U01111WB1994PLC065082

Company & Directors' Information:- P & S AGRO INDIA LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U01403MH2011PLC214782

Company & Directors' Information:- D N D AGRO (INDIA) LIMITED [Active] CIN = U01403PN2011PLC139235

Company & Directors' Information:- L C A AGRO PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U01112UP2005PTC029657

Company & Directors' Information:- S. B. VANIJYA PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U15530OR2009PTC011323

Company & Directors' Information:- A N S VANIJYA PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U51909WB2007PTC118341

Company & Directors' Information:- G D AGRO PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U24122UP1993PTC015164

Company & Directors' Information:- J. N. VANIJYA PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U51109WB2007PTC120372

Company & Directors' Information:- R A VANIJYA PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U51909WB2009PTC139861

Company & Directors' Information:- G T AGRO INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U74899DL2005PTC142577

Company & Directors' Information:- F AND K AGRO PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U29248PN1980PTC022759

Company & Directors' Information:- A N AGRO PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U01119DL1996PTC081855

Company & Directors' Information:- V R L AGRO PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U85110KA1999PTC024717

Company & Directors' Information:- M S VANIJYA PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U65993BR1992PTC005121

Company & Directors' Information:- P. S. R. AGRO PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U24248UP1974PTC004017

Company & Directors' Information:- A. S. VANIJYA PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U51109WB2005PTC102963

Company & Directors' Information:- O N AGRO PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1988PTC031986

Company & Directors' Information:- S. S. VANIJYA PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U51109WB2005PTC103490

Company & Directors' Information:- A TO Z VANIJYA PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U51109WB2007PTC112747

Company & Directors' Information:- S & J VANIJYA PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U52190WB2010PTC145591

Company & Directors' Information:- Y K AGRO PRIVATE LIMITED [Converted to LLP and Dissolved] CIN = U74999DL2013PTC250398

Company & Directors' Information:- N P M AGRO PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U15494DL2011PTC214942

Company & Directors' Information:- D A AGRO PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74900DL2015PTC288168

Company & Directors' Information:- D. B. AGRO PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U01100MP2010PTC025035

Company & Directors' Information:- M. PARAKH AND COMPANY LIMITED [Not available for efiling] CIN = U99999MH1947PLC005842

    Civil Appeal No. 6642 of 2018 (Arising out of SLP(C) No. 17445 of 2017)

    Decided On, 12 July 2018

    At, Supreme Court of India



Judgment Text

R. Banumathi, J.

Leave granted.

2. This appeal arises out of the order dated 01.03.2017 passed by the High Court of Calcutta in AOPT No.349 of 2016 affirming the order of the Single Judge in and by which it was held that the respondent-defendant is entitled to use the word ‘MALABAR’ in conjunction with the mark ‘BAROMA’ for selling its product - Biryani Rice. By the impugned order, the Division Bench has also affirmed the findings of the Single Judge that subject to the outcome of the suit, the respondents can pursue their application for registration of their label.

3. Appellant-plaintiff claims to have been using the mark ‘MALABAR’ for selling Biryani Rice from 2001. The appellant filed the suit CS No.27 of 2012 for infringement and passing off special Biryani Rice under the mark 'MALABAR GOLD' or other mark/trade name which is identical with and/or deceptively similar to the appellant’s trade mark ‘MALABAR’. On consideration of various features of the respondent’s then mark and other materials, the learned Single Judge vide order dated 02.07.2012 granted interim injunction observing that there was similarity between the two labels/marks and restrained the respondents/defendants from using the label mark ‘MALABAR’. The Division Bench declined to interfere with the said order by its order dated 14.09.2012.

4. While the suit and application for temporary injunction was pending before the Single Judge, the respondents/defendants filed application for vacating the order dated 02.07.2012 inter alia on various grounds contending that the appellant is relying upon fabricated documents and that the appellant cannot claim exclusive right over the mark ‘MALABAR’ and therefore, the interim order of injunction has to be vacated. The learned Single Judge by its order dated 05.07.2016 which was passed with the consent of the parties gave liberty to the respondents to file a supplementary affidavit to clearly indicate the device/mark that the respondents proposed to use. The respondents filed application indicating the proposed modification in their label by changing the get-up. After hearing the parties, the interim order of injunction initially passed, was modified vide order dated 08.08.2016 to the effect that the respondents shall be entitled to use the word ‘MALABAR’ in conjunction with ‘BAROMA’ where all the words and letters must be in the same font but the word ‘MALABAR’ may be increased with font size of not more than 25% than the rest of the words or letters. Being aggrieved, the appellant-plaintiff has preferred appeal before the Division Bench. The Division Bench dismissed the appeal by the impugned order holding that the Single Judge has passed the order balancing the interest of the parties who are having a substantial turn over in their respective business.

5. We have heard Mr. Shyam Diwan, learned senior counsel appearing on behalf of the appellant and Mr. Gourab K. Banerji, learned senior counsel appearing on behalf of the respondents and perused the impugned order and considered the materials placed on record.

6. The appellant is the registered owner of the label mark in Class-30 in respect of rice, flour and preparations made from cereals, bread, cakes, biscuits, pastry and spices. The appellant sells Biryani Rice and the most prominent feature of its label mark is the word ‘MALABAR’. The appellant-plaintiff is granted registration in Class-30 for its products. Class-30 of the classification of goods and services under the statute covers diverse spices and other edible materials as wheat, rice, coffee, tea etc. In the registration under Class-30, there is a disclaimer for the word ‘MALABAR’. The disclaimer is worded thus:-


7. The appellant though claims exclusive right over the word ‘MALABAR’ since there is a disclaimer to the exclusive use of the word ‘MALABAR’, the appellant has no right over the exclusive use of the word ‘MALABAR’. The respondents have also inter alia brought on record the materials to show the registration of other goods under Class-30 with the word ‘MALABAR MONSOON’ granted in favour of Amalgamated Bean Coffee Trading Company Limited for Coffee Cream, Coffee included in Class-30. The registration of the mark ‘MALABAR MONSOON’ under Class-30 also contains similar disclaimer of the word ‘MALABAR’. Likewise, the label ‘MALABAR COAST’ has been registered in Class-30 for Coffee, Tea, Cocoa, Sugar etc. in favour of Tropical Retreats Private Limited which again contains a similar disclaimer for the exclusive use of the word ‘MALABAR COAST’. Having regard to the materials placed on record, we are of the view that the High Court rightly held that the appellant cannot claim exclusive right over the use of the word ‘MALABAR’.

8. Insofar as the label mark used by the parties, we have perused the label mark of the appellant selling Biryani Rice with word ‘MALABAR’ and also the modified label mark of the respondents. The label of the respondents containing the words 'BAROMA', 'MALABAR', 'GOLD' are circled having a different get-up from that of the appellant. By comparison of the two label marks, in our view, both appear to be substantially different. There appears to be no similarity between both the labels, more so, deceptive similarity. Keeping in view the interest of the respective parties who are said to be having substantial turn-over in their respective business, the High Court rightly held that the respondents would be entitled to use the word ‘MALABAR’ in conjunction with ‘BAROMA’ with the different get-up as approved by the High Court. We do not find any serious infirmity warranting interference with the impugned order.

9. Having regard to the various c

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ontentions raised by the parties, the High Court rightly held that subject to the outcome of the suit, the respondent can pursue their application for registration of the device. Both parties have inter alia raised various contentions. Since the suit and the respondent’s application for registration of its label with the marks thereon under Class-30 is pending, we are not inclined to go into the merits of those contentions. Lest, it would prejudicially affect the rights of the parties in the pending suit and proceedings. 10. In the result, the appeal is dismissed. All the contentious issues raised by the parties are left open to be resolved in the suit. No costs.