After the well-known ice cream business Natural Ice Cream filed a lawsuit for trademark infringement, the Delhi High Court recently issued an interim injunction prohibiting the makers of “NIC Natural Ice Creams” from using the trademark “NATURALS.”
Naturals has established a prima facie case for the issuance of an ex-parte injunction, the balance of convenience is in their favour, and they will suffer irreparable loss if the order is not granted, said single-judge Justice Jyoti Singh in her ruling.
Therefore, until the next date of hearing, Defendants No. 1 to 3, along with their officers, directors, family members, distributors, agents, franchisees, dealers, servants, and all other persons claiming through or under them or anyone who may be acting on their behalf, are prohibited from using Plaintiffs’ marks “NATURAL” or “NATURALS” or using “NIC Natural Ice Creams” or “NIC” in any way, including using any marks that are similar to or deceptive.
The Court further prohibited NIC from using any domain names, email addresses, or handles that included the mark NATURAL in whole or in part, including “nicicecreams.com,” “nicnaturalicecreams.com,” and similar names. It was instructed that they cannot use the words “NATURAL” or “NATURALS”
An Indian company called Natural Ice Cream was founded in 1984, and it now has over 140 franchises spread across 42 locations. It went to court, claiming that a company called “NIC Natural Ice Creams,” which was founded by a partner of one of its franchises, was misusing trademarks that were confusingly similar to Natural.
The ‘NATURAL’ mark, a crucial component of the plaintiff’s trademark, was dishonestly incorporated into the defendants’ registered marks, the court was informed by the defendants. It was claimed that the defendants knew that the abbreviation NIC was frequently used to refer to the Natural ice cream industry. The mark also has the word “NATURAL ICE CREAMS” beneath it, increasing the similarities with the plaintiffs’ use of the same shade of green, the court was informed.