Recently, the Bombay High Court granted an interim injunction in favour of Mauj Mobile Pvt Ltd (“Plaintiff”) restraining Mohalla Tech Pvt Ltd (“Defendant”) from using the mark MOJ or any other mark deceptively or confusingly similar to the Plaintiff’s registered mark MAUJ.
It was the Plaintiff’s case that the Defendant is infringing the Plaintiff’s registered mark MAUJ by using a deceptively similar mark MOJ, which is a mere misspelling of the mark MAUJ and such misspelling does not render the marks phonetically dissimilar. Moreover, the words MAUJ and MOJ connote same meaning in the Hindi language. The Defendant, on the other hand, argued that the mark MOJ is an acronym of Moments of Joy, and the presence of a laughing emoji makes the mark visually and structurally different from the Plaintiff’s mark. The Defendant also argued that, in addition to the visual dissimilarity, the fact that the rival parties operate in different business model (B2C vs. B2B), obliviates any likelihood of confusion.
The court held that, mere change of spelling of a mark and addition of an emoji is insufficient to distinguish the rival marks from one another. Further, the different is business models of the rival parties is also insignificant, as long as the nature of rival services are similar. The court also rejected the Defendant’s submission that MOJ stands for ‘Moments of Joy’ as being an afterthought, as the Defendant did not submit any material evidence to substantiate this claim.
Accordingly, the court granted an ad interim injunction in favour of the Plaintiff and restrained the Defendant from using the mark MOJ or any other mark deceptively or confusingly similar to the Plaintiff’s registered mark MAUJ, till the final disposal of the suit.
Mauj Mobile Private Limited vs. Mohalla Tech Private Limited & Ors., Interim Application No. 1466 of 2021 in Commercial IP Suit No. 195 of 2021, Judgment dated June 5, 2023.