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The Delhi High Court recently dismissed a writ petition by Kaira District Cooperative Milk Producers (“Petitioner”) under Article 226 of the Constitution of India seeking issuance of writ of mandamus to the Registrar of Trade Marks to withdraw acceptance, quash publication, cancel registration, and pass detailed reason for accepting marks that are identical or similar to the Petitioner’s registered AMUL marks.

It was the Petitioner’s case that it holds several registrations for its AMUL marks across various classes of goods and service and in spite of this, multiple applications for registration, acceptance, publication and registration of various marks incorporating AMUL are recorded on the Register of Trade Marks.

The Court, however, came down heavily on the Petitioner for invoking the Court’s extraordinary jurisdictions without exhausting the remedies available under the Trade Marks Act, 1999 (“TM Act”). In particular, the Court noted that the TM Act provides adequate avenue to oppose published marks, seek cancellation of registered mark and also seek for extension of time to oppose published marks, subject to the Registrar’s satisfaction that there exists sufficient cause to grant such extension. The Court, accordingly, re-emphasised on the constitutional requirement of exhausting alternate remedies before writ jurisdictions can be invoked. The Court also opined that the prolonged duration of opposition or cancellation proceedings is not a sufficient ground to invoke this Court’s writ jurisdiction, and even in such cases, the Court would only be justified to expediate such proceedings, and nothing beyond it.

Though the Court dismissed this petition without cost, it re-iterated that any order passed under the TM Act should be well reasoned and speaking in nature.

Kaira District Cooperative Milk Producers Union Ltd & Anr vs. Registrar of Trade Marks & Ors. W.P.(C)-IPD 14/2021

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