Delhi High Court says one can’t be stopped from using own name, citing trademark violation (Jindal Industries Private Limited v Suncity Sheets Private Limited and Anr.)

In Jindal Industries Private Limited v Suncity Sheets Private Limited and Anr. [CS(COMM) 679/2023], the Delhi High Court has observed that in terms of the Trademarks Act, 1999, the right of a person to use his or her name on one’s own goods cannot be compromised, else it would compromise the right to use one’s name as an identity marker, which would ex facie be unconstitutional. Justice C Hari Shankar said, “In the absence of any such caveat to be found in Section 35 (of Trademarks Act), it may be arguable, at the very least, whether, while the use of one’s name as an identity marker is permissible under Section 35, the instance it spills over into “trademark” territory, it is rendered impermissible.

 Any such interpretation, in my prima facie view, would be reading a non-existent proviso into Section 35 and, in effect, rewriting the provision.”. Section 35 states that nothing in the law shall give the owner or a registered user of a registered trademark the right to interfere with any genuine use by an individual of their own name. The court observed that the Trademarks Act of 1999 and the privileges it confers cannot be extended to the point where one can monopolise the use of a common name for goods and, by registering it, foreclose the rest of humanity from using it.


Eshwar S, 5th year B.A, LL. B(Hons.), Veltech School of Law, Chennai.


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