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Recently, the Madras High Court, while dismissing a writ petition, held that the scope of the proceedings for rectification of a company name will not be in any way influenced by ongoing trade mark infringement proceedings between the same parties.

In the present case, Raymond Ltd. (“Respondent”), a prominent clothing and apparel brand, had filed an application with the Regional Director of Companies, Chennai for rectification of the company name, Raymond Pharmaceuticals Pvt. Ltd. (“Petitioner”), which was allowed. Prior to this application, the Respondent had also filed a suit for trade mark infringement before the Bombay High Court, where it was denied interim relief. The Petitioner had, thereafter, filed an appeal before the Supreme Court, which was also dismissed.

The Petitioner, aggrieved by the order of the Regional Director of Companies, Chennai, filed a writ petition before the Madras High Court. The Petitioner submitted that the Respondent’s application for rectification of company name was not maintainable since it was filed subsequent to its failure to obtain any interim relief. The Respondent, on the other hand, argued that trade mark infringement proceedings and rectification of company names operate in different spheres and are governed by separate laws. The court, after considering the arguments advanced, held that the proceedings for rectification of a company name and a suit for infringement of trade marks operate in completely distinct and separate spheres. The court further placed reliance on precedential case law and held that the grant or the lack thereof of an interim order in favour of an applicant will not have any bearing on the Regional Director of Companies while deciding an application for rectification of a company name, and that both proceedings are completely independent of each other. Accordingly, the court refused to interfere with the order of the Regional Director of Companies, Chennai, and upheld the order of rectification of the name of the Petitioner.

M/s Raymond Pharmaceuticals Pvt. Ltd. v. Union of India & Ors. [W.P. no. 28593 of 2012], order dt. December 2, 2022

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