Alfred Dunhill smokes out trademark infringement


The Delhi High Court has issued a decision restraining Mumbai-based investment company Dunhill Securities Ltd (DSL) from using the name 'Dunhill' as part of its corporate name, and on its visiting cards, invoices and advertising banners (Case S12/98).

Alfred Dunhill Ltd, the UK producer of a variety of products ranging from smoking accessories to men's clothing, has held a trademark registration for DUNHILL in India since 1945. In 1997 it filed an action for (i) a permanent injunction restraining DSL from using the Dunhill brand in any way, and (ii) the submission of an account of profits earned by DSL through its use of the Dunhill name. Alfred Dunhill later abandoned the claim for an account of profits but maintained its action for a permanent injunction. It argued that DSL's use of the highly distinctive and well-known DUNHILL mark would lead to immense confusion.

Having established (i) Alfred Dunhill's rights in the DUNHILL mark in India, and (ii) the reputation of the mark, the Delhi High Court had little difficulty in finding in favour of Alfred Dunhill.

Gladys Mirandah, Ella Cheong Mirandah & Sprusons, Singapore

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