Mars bars company name registration

India

In Mars Incorporated v Kumar Krishna Mukerjee 2003 (26) PTC 60 (Del), the Delhi High Court has issued a permanent injunction preventing the defendant, a food manufacturer, from registering 'Mars' as a company name. The court held that such use would have amounted to trademark infringement and passing off.

Mars registered the MARS trademark in the United States in 1923 and has been selling products under that mark in India since 1942. Kumar, based in Delhi, sought to incorporate a company under the name 'Mars Food Private Limited' to produce foodstuffs. Mars brought proceedings to obtain an injunction to prevent Kumar from using the name 'Mars' as a company name.

The court ruled in Mars's favour, reasoning that Kumar's use of the name was likely to cause confusion and deceive consumers as to the origin of Kumar's products. The court also found that Kumar's intention was clearly to exploit the reputation and goodwill that Mars's mark has gained over the years.

Gladys Mirandah, Ella Cheong Mirandah & Sprusons, Singapore

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