The Plaintiff claiming to be registered proprietor and user of the trademarks “CHUR CHUR NAAN” and “AMRITSARI CHUR CHUR NAAN” filed a suit for infringement and passing off seeking injunction against the use of the mark “PAHARGANJ KE CHUR CHUR NAAN” and “AMRITSARI CHUR CHUR NAAN”. The dispute involved two outlets based in Paharganj, Delhi which were using competing marks for their outlets. The question before the court was that whether there can be any monopoly in the expression “CHUR CHUR NAAN” or “AMRITSARI CHUR CHUR NAAN”. The defendant submitted that that there are a large number of outlets which use the name “CHUR CHUR NAAN” and that the trademarks of the Plaintiff are liable to be rectified as they are devoid of distinctive character. It was argued that the Defendant is using the expression “PAHARGANJ KE MASHOOR CHUR CHUR NAAN” only in descriptive manner.
The court observed that the expressions such as “NAAN, CHUR CHUR NAAN”, “AMRITSARI CHUR CHUR NAAN‟ are similar to expressions such as Amritsari Kulcha, Malabar Parantha, Hyderabadi Biryani, Kashmiri Dum Aloo, Chettinad Chicken, Murthal ke Paranthe, Mangalore idli, etc., which are used in common parlance by the general public. The court noted that the word “CHUR CHUR” means ‘crushed’ and ‘Chur Chur Naan’ means ‘Crushed Naan’ and therefore it is incapable of acquiring trade mark meaning. The Defendants were able to show that various third parties are using ‘CHUR CHUR NAAN’ and ‘AMRITSARI CHUR CHUR NAAN’ with various prefixes and suffixes. Accordingly the court held that there cannot be any monopoly on the terms ‘CHUR CHUR NAAN’ and ‘AMRITSARI CHUR CHUR NAAN as the same are generic and hence refused to give interim injunction.
The court noticed that most of the food outlets are distinguishing themselves from each other by using prefixes which are distinctive in nature and accordingly, the Court instructed the Defendant to change its name to “PAHARGANJ SETH KE MASHOOR CHUR CHUR NAAN”.
The rationale behind the judgment seems to be on settled principle of law which gives every businessman to use the mark which is generic in nature.