In a recent case, ITC Vs. CENTRAL PARK Estates, the Delhi High Court was asked to decide whether the trademark “Bukhara” is a well-known trademark.
The Court came to the conclusion based on evidence submitted by ITC that “BUKHARA” qualifies as a well-known trademark. Based on the said conclusion, the Court asked the Registrar of Trademarks to add “BUKHARA” to the list of well-known marks. It declared “Bukhara” as a well-known mark though a US Court decided otherwise. This is primarily because the evidence of fame and repute is primarily in India, and the evidence is sufficient to make the mark well-known in the Indian context.
ITC started the ‘Bukhara‘ restaurant in the late 1970s and later acquired trademark registrations. The Bukhara logo and word marks were registered in 1985. The restaurant has unique decor, wooden menus, and a specially designed uniform for staff. It primarily serves dishes from the North Western Frontier region. It was rated as one of the best, or the best restaurant by many magazines and publications. Also, several heads of state had visited this restaurant over the years. Based on this evidence among others, the Court came to the conclusion that “Bukhara” is a well-known mark of ITC.
The Bukhara trademark of the restaurant and its menu and aspects of the decor are shown below.
The defendant in the case, CENTRAL PARK Estates, started a restaurant by the name, Balkh Bukhara. It adopted several characteristics and features of ITC’s Bukhara restaurant. The defendant agreed to stop using the menu, jacket for staff, and copper glasses, which are similar to ITC Bukhara’s restaurant. It also agreed to remove Bukhara from its trademark registrations. As a part of the relief in the case, the Court injuncted CENTRAL PARK Estates from using Bukhara as a part of its mark/logo for the restaurant.
Case Citation: ITC LIMITED Vs. CENTRAL PARK ESTATES PRIVATE LIMITED & ANR., C.O. (COMM.IPD-TM) 764/2022 and I.A. 18334/2022, 18335/2022. bukhara-itc-limited-446796