Delhi High Court Grants Interim Injunction Against Use of Infringing Trademarks

The Delhi High Court recently granted an injunction in favor of Kerzner International, a company that owns the Atlantis resort chain in Dubai, the Bahamas and China, against a certain Vokas Aggarwal using the trademark “Atlantis Park Ballroom” for a banquet hall.

Although the resort is not located in India, Judge Prathiba M Singh observed,

Plaintiff’s mark “ATLANTIS”, due to the unique nature of the resorts it operates, has on the face of it acquired an enormous global reputation, particularly in the Indian subcontinent.

He noted that the applicant’s mark is registered in several classes and that specific figures were given with regard to revenue from bookings made from India. Revenue figures show that thousands of bookings are made from India every year with the applicant. In 2019, 27,892 bookings were made and the total revenue for that year attributable to India was $16 million.

In this context, he observed,

Plaintiff has established a prima facie case for the grant of an injunction. The balance of convenience is in favor of the plaintiff and if relief is not granted at this stage, irreparable loss would be caused to the plaintiff. However, in view of the fact that the defendants may have made various reservations of the banquet hall for third parties, the Court is of the opinion that the defendants should only be partially retained at this stage.

Plaintiff – Kerzner International Limited had filed this lawsuit seeking protection for its trademark “ATLANTIS” used in connection with entertainment services, hotels, resorts and other related services. It is the claimant’s case that it is one of the world’s leading global service providers engaged in the management, development and operation of resorts, properties, luxury hotels, etc. It manages more than 15 hotels in about 10 countries. Applicant adopted the trademark “ATLANTIS” in 1994. Applicant’s company was incorporated in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas in 2002.

The applicant submitted that the mark “ATLANTIS” has been applied for in India and abroad. In India, the plaintiff has various registrations in classes 35, 36, 39 and 41. It is their case that he came across the defendants’ application in the trademark journal in which the defendants sought to register the mark “ ATLANTIS PARK BALLROOM” under Class 43 as regards catering and temporary accommodation services.

Accordingly, a legal notice was issued on behalf of the plaintiff on March 9, 2021 calling on the defendants to disclaim the use of the “ATLANTIS PARK BALLROOM” trademark.

The defendant asserted that its mark is distinctive and that the services provided by the defendants are completely different from the plaintiff’s services, as their business channels are also independent. The defendant also argued that the plaintiff enjoys no reputation in India as the mark is used in the Bahamas.

The court noted that the claimant is enrolled in multiple classes and that specific income figures were given with respect to income from bookings made from India. Revenue figures show that thousands of bookings are made from India every year with the applicant.

Plaintiff’s “ATLANTIS” brand, due to the unique nature of the resorts it operates, has on the face of it acquired an enormous worldwide reputation, particularly in the Indian subcontinent. The brand is also promoted on various social media platforms and the applicant has won several awards as one of the most visited destinations in the world.

The Court also noted that the defendant uses the mark in relation to a banquet hall and the services offered are entertainment, conventions and other bookings made for social events. Defendants’ and Plaintiff’s services clearly overlap and are related/associated services. The “ATLANTIS” mark is the main feature of the defendants’ mark and name. It is settled case law that it is not unreasonable to identify the elements and characteristics of marks which are more or less important for the purposes of analysis in the case of complex marks.

In view of the above, the court decided to grant an injunction in favor of the plaintiff.

“As a result, Defendants are barred from making any further reservations at its banquet held under the name ‘ATLANTIS PARK BALLROOM’ until the next court date. This would not, however, preclude Defendants from providing services regarding reservations already made by this.”

Case title: KERZNER INTERNATIONAL LIMITED v VIKAS AGGARWAL & ORS.

Click here to read/download the order