The Aachi Spices and Foods company has won a case against a California-based restaurant Aachi Aapakadai, after a US Trademark Trials and Appeal Board ruled in favour of the former.
The petition filed by the condiment company alleged that the California restaurant was using the same name and logo design, which could cause damage to their brand name.
According to reports, the board decided to rule in favour of the petition to cancel Aachi Aapakadai's registration, on September 13.
Assisting lawyer Gladys Daniel from Daniel and Gladys based in Chennai, told The New Indian Express that the condiment company had first found out about the restaurant in 2013.
"A ‘cease and desist’ notice was sent to them but they refused to change the name which was why we petitioned in court January 2014," she was quoted as saying.
The report states that the respondent argued that the services provided by the two companies were not sufficiently related to cause an issue to each other.
The TNIE report adds:
However, the petitioner was able to prove that there were indeed a lot of similarities between their products and the restaurant menu. Another point that the respondents could not defend was the fact that since the restaurant and the condiment both catered for the same crowd which comprised Indians settled in the US, there could be an easy confusion between the two. This could lead to damage in reputation or finances of the condiment company.
This is also not the first time that the condiment company has gone to court to protect its name.
In 2013, the Madras high court had rejected Aachi MasalaFoods' plea to stop a cargo company from using the same name as the term 'aachi' in Tamil means 'grandmother' and hence such a word of common use could not be a monopoly of a particular company.
The Times of India reported:
In its appeal, Aachi Masala Foods contended that Aachi Cargo Channels Private Limited had obtained exclusive right to use Aachi trademark in 1999 and later got Aachi trademark for 51 other products as well. Aachi Cargo, however, contested the submissions saying their area of operation had nothing to do with the food business of Aaachi Masala. Noting that there is no likelihood of their name causing confusion in the minds of the public, they said the appeal deserved to be dismissed.
Interestingly, the petitioning company in its latest case claimed that 'Aachi' meant 'an elderly woman', while the respondent made the same claim as that of the earlier case.