Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Nirma’s trademark case against Nirman school dismissed

Ahmedabad: The Gujarat High Court has dismissed an appeal by Nirma Ltd objecting to a charitable trust using the name Nirman High School. The high court upheld the lower court’s interim order passed last year.

Nirma had been claiming that it had got the word ‘Nirma’ registered as a trade name for use in the field of education. The use of ‘Nirman’ by Nirman Foundation Charitable Trust and Shree Navneet Hiralal Kapadia Education Trust, was seen as an infringement on its trademark rights.
It claimed that the word ‘Nirma’ formed part of ‘Nirman’ and it sounded similar to Nirma. Moreover, ‘Nirman’ could be mistaken for Nirma University. Besides, both campuses were located on SG Highway.
Nirma had approached the city civil court last year demanding that the school trust be restrained from using ‘Nirman’. But the lower court refused to order a stay on the application and allowed the high school to run on the same name till the final outcome of the civil suit.
The civil court’s refusal to order a stay brought Nirma to the high court. Justice MR Shah also declined to interfere in the case and upheld the lower court’s order that it could not restrain the trust from using ‘Nirman’ because it had been known by the name for some time. Also, the words were primarily different and ‘Nirman’ had a meaning in Indian languages, which distinguished it from ‘Nirma’. However, the civil suit in this regard is pending with the city civil court.

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