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Institute of Directors v. WorldDevCorp Technology and Business Solutions Pvt. Ltd.& Ors.

Updated: Feb 7



The Hon’ble Delhi High Court, recently, declined interim relief to the Institute of Directors (“Plaintiff”) in a suit for trademark infringement against use of its mark, INSTITUTE OF DIRECTORS and its formatives, in relation to educational services by WorldDevCorp Technology and Business Solutions Pvt. Ltd. (“Defendant”). 

 

The suit was filed based on the Plaintiff’s earlier rights in its registered marks on/in relation to books, magazines, brochures, etc. The Plaintiff argued that the Defendant’s use of the mark DIRECTORS’ INSTITUTE in relation to education services was bound to cause confusion in the minds of the public. The Plaintiff submitted that there has been actual instances of consumer confusion and alluded to evidence supporting this claim.

 

The Defendant, on the other hand, argued that the Plaintiff’s arguments were not sustainable, as it had, in its response to the examination report issued by the Trade Marks Registry, argued that its mark IOD INSTITUTE OF DIRECTORS BUILDING TOMORROW’S BOARDS comprised of words common to the English language, which are descriptive in nature and cannot belong to any one proprietor.

 

The court observed that the Plaintiff had suppressed the material facts raised by the Defendant, and has itself admitted to its marks being descriptive as well as lacking any distinctive character before the Trade Marks Registry. The court, therefore, held that commonly used English words, or a non-distinctive combination of such words, cannot be monopolised by any one person, so as to disentitle the rest of the world to the use thereof. Accordingly, the court declined to grant interim relief to the Plaintiff.  

 

Institute of Directors v. WorldDevCorp Technology and Business Solutions Pvt. Ltd.& Ors. CS (COMM) 611/2023, Judgement dt. December 12, 2023.

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