Intelsys trade name is confusingly similar to INTEL mark, rules court

India

In Intel Corporation v Intelsys Group (Case 635/2003), the Delhi High Court has issued an injunction restraining the defendant from using the word 'Intelsys' - or any other word deceptively similar to the registered INTEL mark - in any way, including as a trade name, trademark, domain name or email address.

The Intelsys Group consists of four companies: Intelsys Technologies Pvt Ltd, Intelsys Software & Consultants Pvt Ltd, Intelsys Inc and Intelsys Education. The group, although based in Calcutta, provides e-solutions and online IT courses throughout India. Intel filed a suit against the group for passing off, alleging that its use of the trade name Intelsys incorporates the INTEL mark and therefore infringes Intel's rights in that mark. Intel also pointed out that the group is engaged in a sufficiently similar line of business (eg, e-solutions), so consumer confusion was likely.

Interestingly, before the Delhi High Court could issue the injunction, it first had to address the issue of its jurisdiction. Although the Indian Code of Civil Procedure prescribes that jurisdiction of the courts is normally based on the domicile of the defendant (in this case, Calcutta), the fact that the group's online IT courses are accessible throughout India led the Delhi High Court to conclude that it too had jurisdiction to hear the dispute. The court then had no difficulty in concluding that (i) the group's continued use of the name Intelsys was likely to cause consumer confusion, and (ii) such use had already amounted to passing off.

For discussion of another case involving Intel's fight to protect its marks in India, see Intel protects slogan, mark and logo in Delhi High Court.

Rachna Bakhru, Rouse & Co International, Dubai

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