Millennium Post

Popular bar fights out for name

Popular bar fights out for name
Delhi High Court, in an interim arrangement, has allowed Adaab Hotels Ltd to use TC Restaurant and Bar at Adhchini for now. The final order with certain conditions, including uploading a disclaimer on TC Community Page of Facebook stating that the TC Restaurant & Bar at Adhchini has absolutely no connection with Turquoise Cottage, which was earlier being run in Adhchini premises and is now being run in Vasant Vihar and Gurgaon, will come soon. Adaab will also have to advertise in newspaper and at its outlet about the same.

Adaab and Star Restaurant Pvt Ltd earlier used to run Turquoise Cottage in Adhchini under certain agreements, before it was sealed by the erstwhile Municipal Corporation of Delhi in 2007. The two companies are now battling in court over the brand name. After they separated ways, Star started a restaurant in 2008, while Adaab started TC Restaurant and Bar in 2010, with a newspaper advertisement claiming that it was the original TC, prompting Star to put a notice at the entrance of its restaurants stating that TC bar and restaurant opened at Adhchini had no connection with them and the patrons should not get confused.

Adaab said as per the agreement, they could use the name TC, while Star objected. The court took many things into account, like when Adaab opened the restaurant with the name TC, Star took long to come to the court, and the agreement which Star said was not exceuted.

Hearing the case in the high court, Justice VK Jain said, ‘At this stage, there is no evidence of the business of Star having been materially affected on account of the use of the name TC by Adaab. On the other hand, during the course of arguments, it was informed that Adaab had a turnover of more than Rs 6 crore from the restaurant opened by it at Adhchini for the financial year 2011-2012. In these circumstances, I deem it appropriate to allow use of the mark TC by Adaab during pendency of this suit, subject to the conditions and limitations.’

Justice Jain also observed, ‘If the court finds that the agreement dated 16.8.2006 was actually executed between the parties and that it permitted Adaab to use the name TC, there would no injunction against the use of the said mark by Adaab. At the same time, prima facie, adoption of the mark TC by Adaab appears to be dishonest, actuated by an intention to take advantage of the goodwill and reputation which the restaurant Turquoise Cottage  of Star enjoys among the members of the public. Also, there is a strong likelihood of the public being deceived into believing that the restaurant and bar being run by Adaab at Adhchini was either the same restaurant and bar which was earlier being run in the name Turquoise Cottage or it was a branch or franchisee of Turquoise Cottage.’
Nitish K Singh

Nitish K Singh

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