Delhi High Court restrains Sona Mandhira from using trademark 'Sona' [2.3.2023]

In a new turn in the family's legal battle, the Delhi High Court has recently granted an interim injunction asking Sona Mandhira Pvt. Ltd. to refrain from using Sona BLW Precision Forgings Ltd. (Sona BLW)'s registered trademark "SONA" in any manner or any other trademark/trade name/logo containing "SONA".

Sona BLW has filed a suit against the use of its trademark by Sona Mandhira with respect to similar/ancillary services and goods, such as automobile parts etc. contending such use to be unauthorised, illegal and a malafide adoption.

A single-judge bench of Justice Navin Chawla observed: "The balance of convenience is also in favour of plaintiffs Sona BLW Precision Forging Ltds and against the defendants Sona Mandhira. The plaintiffs are likely to suffer grave irreparable harm if the defendants are not restrained from using the word 'Sona' as part of the corporate name and/or as a trademark during the pendency of the present suit."

However, Sona Mandhira had submitted in court that the word 'Sona' is a generic and common word in trade and has attained the status of publici juris. It is not an invented word, but a generic word.

It also submitted that various companies have been registered in the Office of the Registrar of Companies using the word "Sona" as part of their corporate name and no person can claim exclusive proprietary rights over the word "Sona".

Sona Mandhira contended that the present case was essentially a family dispute between Sunjay Kapur i.e. Chairman of the Sona BLW, Mandira Koirala, sister of Sunjay Kapur and Rani Kapur, mother of Sunjay Kapur.

The legal battle between siblings Mandira and Sunjay, children of the late Surinder Kapur, has just begun and could potentially be lengthy. As per a source close to the Kapur family, Sunjay is trying to prevent his sister's rapidly growing company from using the brand name.

Surprisingly, Sunjay claims to have exclusive rights to the brand name 'Sona', which his father founded, even though he sold the family's complete share to the private equity firm, Blackstone.

In the court, Sona BLW was represented by senior advocates Akhil Sibal and Rajshekhar Rao.

Sona Mandhira was represented by senior advocates Rajiv Nayar and Dayan Krishnan.

03 Mar 2023