The supreme court in NANDHINI DELUXE V/S KARNATAKA CO-OPERATIVE MILK PRODUCERS FEDERATION LTD has held that wherein the Respondent was dealing with business of milk product and the Respondent applied for trade mark Nandini and got same registered in its favour. The trademark was opposed on ground that it is deceptively similar to the mark of respondent. The apex court held that not only visual appearance of the two marks is different, they even relate to different products, manner in which they are traded by the appellant and respondent respectively, it is difficult to imagine that an average man of ordinary intelligence would associate the goods of the appellant as that of respondent.
The dispute pertains to the use of mark ‘NANDHINI’. The respondent herein, which is a Cooperative Federation of the Milk Producers of Karnataka, adopted the aforesaid mark ‘NANDINI’ in the year 1985 and under this brand name it has been producing and selling milk and milk products. It has got registration of this mark as well under Class 29 and Class 30. The appellant herein, on the other hand, is in the business of running restaurants and it adopted the mark ‘NANDHINI’ for its restaurants in the year 1989 and applied for registration of the said mark in respect of various foodstuff items sold by it in its restaurants. The respondent had opposed the registration and the objections of the respondent were dismissed by the Deputy Registrar of the Trade Mark.
The Hon’ble apex court has observed that the nature and style of the business of the appellant and the respondent are altogether different. Whereas respondent is a Cooperative Federation of Milk Producers of Karnataka and is producing and selling milk and milk products under the mark ‘NANDINI’, the business of the appellant is that of running restaurants and the registration of mark ‘NANDHINI’ as sought by the appellant is in respect of various foodstuffs sold by it in its restaurants.
Since not only visual appearance of the two marks is different, they even relate to different products. Further, the manner in which they are traded by the appellant and respondent respectively, highlighted above, hence it is difficult to imagine that an average man of ordinary intelligence would associate the goods of the appellant as that of the respondent.