Supreme Court upholds High Court verdict on Dil Afza, says Rooh Afza is established brand [17.5.2023]

The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed a plea challenging the Delhi High Court order that restrained the manufacture and sale of sweet beverage concentrate 'Sharbat Dil Afza' during the pendency of a lawsuit by Hamdard Dawakhana which sells 'Rooh Afza' for alleged trademark infringement.

A bench headed by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud refused to interfere with the high court order dated December 21, 2022.

"Rooh Afza has a well-established brand. You were selling some kind of medicine and suddenly you start drinks with similar-sounding names. We will not interfere. Dismissed," the bench, also comprising Justices PS Narasimha and JB Pardiwala, said.

The high court, in its order, had restrained the manufacture and sale of 'Dil Afza' after Hamdard Dawakhana had alleged trademark infringement.

It had said that prima facie, 'Rooh Afza' served as the source identifier for Hamdard for over a century and has acquired immense goodwill and it was essential to ensure that the competitors keep a safe distance from the mark.

The court's order came on an appeal by Hamdard against a single judge's order refusing to pass an interim order to restrain 'Dil Afza' manufacturer Sadar Laboratories (respondent) from allegedly indulging in trademark infringement.

The high court also noted that both the products have the "same deep red colour and texture" and the "structure of the bottles is not materially different" and thus opined that the "commercial impression of the impugned trademark is deceptively similar to the appellants' trademark".

18 May 2023