RENAISSANCE HOTEL HOLDINGS INC vs B. VIJAYA SAI

RENAISSANCE HOTEL HOLDINGS INC vs B. VIJAYA SAI -  Supreme Court Judgement 2022 -

REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION 
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 404  OF 2022
[Arising out of SLP(C) No. 21428 of 2019]
RENAISSANCE HOTEL HOLDINGS INC.    ...APPELLANT(S)
VERSUS
B. VIJAYA SAI AND OTHERS        ...RESPONDENT(S)
J U D G M E N T
B.R. GAVAI, J.
1. Leave granted.
2. This appeal challenges the judgment and order dated
12th April 2019 passed by the Single Judge of the High Court
of Karnataka at Bengaluru in Regular First Appeal No. 1462
of   2012,   thereby   allowing   the   appeal   filed   by   the
respondents­defendants   herein   and   setting   aside   the
judgement   and   decree   of   the   Principal   District   Judge,
Bangalore Rural District, Bangalore (hereinafter referred to
1
as the “trial court”), dated 21st June 2012 passed in O.S. No.
3 of 2009, in favour of the appellant­plaintiff herein.
3. The facts in brief giving rise to the filing of the present
appeal are as under:
The appellant­plaintiff filed a suit being O.S. No. 3 of
2009 before the trial court claiming a decree of permanent
injunction to restrain the respondents­defendants from using
the trade mark “SAI RENAISSANCE” or any other trade mark
identical   with   the   appellant­plaintiff’s   trade   mark
“RENAISSANCE”,   and   from   opening,   operating,   managing,
franchising, licensing, dealing directly or indirectly in hotels,
restaurant or hospitality services of any manner under the
trade mark “RENAISSANCE”, and to deliver all the goods,
label or any other printed material bearing the impugned
mark   “SAI   RENAISSANCE”   or   “RENAISSANCE”   and   for
damages   amounting   to   Rs.3,50,000/­   for   having   used   its
trade mark.
4. It   is   the   case   of   the   appellant­plaintiff   that   it   is   a
company   incorporated   under   the   laws   of   the   State   of
Delaware, United States of America.  It is the further case of
2
the appellant­plaintiff that it is the holder and proprietor of
the trade mark and service mark “RENAISSANCE” in relation
to hotel, restaurant, catering, bar, cocktail lounge, fitness
club, spa services, etc.  It is the further case of the appellantplaintiff that the trade mark “RENAISSANCE” has also been
used in relation to a wide variety of goods commonly found in
the appellant­plaintiff’s hotels such as bath robes, slippers,
shirts, hats, matchboxes, writing paper, candies, etc.  These
products are imprinted with  the  appellant­plaintiff’s trade
mark “RENAISSANCE”. It is the case of the appellant­plaintiff
that the trade mark “RENAISSANCE” has been used by it for
its hospitality business throughout the world since the year
1981.  That it is one of the world’s largest and leading chains
of hotels.  That it is using the trade mark “RENAISSANCE” in
India since 1990.  It is the case of the appellant­plaintiff that
it also runs a hotel and convention centre in Mumbai and in
Goa.  That it also owns a registration for the domain name
www.renaissancehotels.com  and   spends   about   US$   14
million   annually   for   worldwide   advertisements   and
promotional activities.
3
5. It is the further case of the appellant­plaintiff that it has
the   registration   for   the   trade   mark   and   service   mark
“RENAISSANCE” in India, under Registration No. 610567 in
Class 16 for “printed matter, periodicals, books, stationery,
manuals,   magazines,   instructional   and   teaching   materials
and office requisites” and Registration No. 1241271 in Class
42 for “hotel, restaurant, catering, bar and cocktail lounge
services, provisions of facilities for meetings, conferences and
exhibitions, reservation services for hotel accommodations”,
respectively.
6. According to the appellant­plaintiff, it came across a
website   at  www.sairenaissance.com  through   which   it
discovered that the respondents­defendants were operating
one hotel in Bangalore and another one in Puttaparthi under
the   impugned   name   “SAI   RENAISSANCE”,   which   wholly
incorporates the appellant­plaintiff’s well­known trade mark
and   service   mark   “RENAISSANCE”.   The   appellant­plaintiff
immediately instructed that an investigation be carried out
and sought legal advice with regard to the violation of its
intellectual   property.     Upon   investigation,   it   was   revealed
4
that the respondents­defendants were running one hotel at
Kadugodi, near Whitefield Railway Station, Bangalore and
another one at By­Pass Road, Puttaparthi.   It was further
revealed   that   the   respondents­defendants   were   copying
appellant­plaintiff’s trade mark “RENAISSANCE”, its stylized
representation, signage and business cards and leaflets.  It is
the case of the appellant­plaintiff that this was done in such
a manner so as to suggest an affiliation, association, nexus
or connection with the business of the appellant­plaintiff.
The appellant­plaintiff, therefore, claimed infringement of its
registered trade mark “RENAISSANCE” in Class 16 and Class
42.  The appellant­plaintiff further contended that a similar
suit instituted by it at Kochi being C.S. No. 5 of 2005 before
the District Court at Ernakulam was decreed in its favour
vide judgment dated 31st January 2008.
7. The respondents­defendants resisted the claim of the
appellant­plaintiff by filing their written statement. It was
contended   that   the   suit   was   liable   to   be   dismissed   on
account of delay, laches and acquiescence.   It was further
contended that “RENAISSANCE” is a generic word and no
5
such exclusive rights can be claimed over it in India as it is
neither a well­known mark, nor it has any reputation built
up   by   the   appellant­plaintiff.   It   is   the   case   of   the
respondents­defendants that they are ardent devotees of Sri
Shirdi Sai Baba and Sri Puttaparthi Sai Baba.  It is the belief
of   all   the   devotees   of   Sri   Sai   Baba   including   the   first
respondent­defendant that Sri Puttaparthi Sai Baba is the
reincarnation of Sri Shirdi Sai Baba and therefore, the first
respondent­defendant   used   the   dictionary   word
“RENAISSANCE” after the name of Sri Shirdi Sai Baba and
adopted the name “SAI RENAISSANCE”. It is the case of the
first   respondent­defendant   that   he   has   been   running   the
hotel for the last 15 years.  According to the first respondentdefendant,   the   hotel   at   Kadugodi   near   Whitefield   was
established in the year 2001 near the Ashram of Sri Sai
Baba.   It is the case of the first respondent­defendant that
the hotel was established so as to provide facilities to the
devotees of Sri Sai Baba. The respondents­defendants further
submitted that even the first respondent­defendant was not
aware that the appellant­plaintiff had established any such
6
hotel by incorporating the word “RENAISSANCE” in its name
till he received suit summons in the said case.
8. It is contended by the respondents­defendants that the
word “RENAISSANCE” is commonly found in the dictionary
and is used by a large number of people and therefore, the
trade mark “RENAISSANCE” has not become distinctive with
the appellant­plaintiff as claimed by it. It is submitted by the
respondents­defendants   that   “RENAISSANCE”   is   neither   a
coined word nor an inventive mark. It is further the case of
the   respondents­defendants   that   the   appellant­plaintiff’s
mark “RENAISSANCE” registered under Class 42 is subject
to   rectification   proceedings,   and   as   such,   the   appellantplaintiff cannot claim that they are the registered proprietors
of the said trade mark “RENAISSANCE”.
9. It is the further case of the respondents­defendants that
the   class   of   customers   to   which   they   were   catering   was
totally different from the class of customers to which the
appellant­plaintiff  was catering.   It is  their case that  the
services provided by them and the appellant­plaintiff were
also totally different. It was contended that the respondents7
defendants did not provide non­vegetarian food and alcoholic
drinks to its customers.   It was therefore contended that
there was no possibility of confusion being created in the
minds of the customers that the hotel of the respondentsdefendants belonged to or was affiliated to the appellantplaintiff.
10. The trial court framed the following issues: 
“1. Whether   the   Plaintiff   is   the   registered
proprietor   of   the   trade   mark/service   mark
“RENAISSANCE”   under   the   Trade   Mark   Act
1999?
2. Whether the plaintiff is the proprietor of trade
mark/service mark “Renaissance” on account
of prior adoption and use in relation to hotels
and hospitality business?
3. Whether the plaintiff proves that the defendant
is infringing the trade mark of the plaintiff?
4. Whether the plaintiff proves that the action of
defendant is one of passing off?
5. Whether the plaintiff is entitled to an order for
delivery of goods, labels or any other printed
materials?
6. Whether   plaintiff   is   entitled   for   rendition   of
accounts and damages?
7. To   what   reliefs   and   decree   the   parties   are
entitled for?
Additional Issues
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1. Whether the suit is not maintainable for want
of   signing   and   verification   of   the   plaint   by
person having locus standi?
2. Whether the defendants prove that they have
been   honestly   and   continuously   using   the
trade mark Hotel SAIRenaissance?”
11. The trial court answered the aforesaid issues as under:
“12. My answer to the above issues are as under:
Issue No.1: Affirmative
Issue No.2: Affirmative
Issue No.3: Affirmative
Issue No.4: Negative
Issue No.5: Negative
Issue No.6: negative 
Additional Issue
No.1:
Affirmative
Additional Issue
No.2:
does not arise for
consideration”
12. The trial court after considering the evidence on record
and   contentions   raised   on   behalf   of   the   parties,   partly
decreed the suit  by restraining the respondents­defendants
from using the trade mark “SAI RENAISSANCE” or any other
trade mark which incorporates the appellant­plaintiff’s trade
mark “RENAISSANCE” or is deceptively similar thereto in
relation   to   or   upon   printed   matter,   periodicals,   books,
instructional   and  teaching  materials,  stationery,  manuals,
9
magazines and office requisites amounting to infringement of
the appellant­plaintiff’s registered trade mark No. 610567 in
Class 16 and for hotel, restaurant, catering, bar and cocktail
lounge   services,   provision   of   facilities   for   meetings,
conferences and  exhibitions, reservation services for hotel
accommodations amounting to infringement of the appellantplaintiff’s registered trade mark No. 1241271 in Class 42.
The trial court further restrained the respondents­defendants
from   opening,  operating,  managing,  franchising,   licensing,
dealing   directly   or   indirectly   in   hotels,   restaurant,   or
hospitality services of any manner under the trade mark or
service   mark   “RENAISSANCE”   or   any   deceptively   similar
mark   “RENAISSANCE”   or   any   deceptively   similar   mark
including   on   the   internet   as   a   domain   name
    www.sairenaissance.com or in any manner so as to pass off
their services as those of or concocted with the appellantplaintiff.   The trial court, however, rejected the claim of the
appellant­plaintiff for damages. Being aggrieved thereby, the
respondents­defendants appealed before the High Court.
10
13. The High Court observed that the evidence produced by
the appellant­plaintiff did not disclose that a trans­border
reputation was earned by it to uphold its plea in that regard.
The High Court further observed that the appellant­plaintiff
is a 5 Star hotel but the respondents­defendants’ hotel is not
of that standard.  The High Court further observed that no
evidence was produced by the appellant­plaintiff to show that
the respondents­defendants were taking unfair advantage of
its   trade   mark   or   that   the   use   of   the   word   “SAI
RENAISSANCE” was detrimental to the distinctive character
or reputation of the appellant­plaintiff’s trade mark.
14. Insofar as the judgment of the Kerala High Court in the
case   of  M/s   The   RENAISSANCE,   Cochin   v.   M/s
RENAISSANCE  Hotels   Inc.  Marriotr1
  in which injunction
was   granted   in   favour   of   the   plaintiff   against   the   Hotel
(RENAISSANCE,   COCHIN)   is   concerned,   the   High   Court
observed that the said judgment was not applicable to the
facts of the present case.   It was observed that in the said
case, one of the customers had claimed that he was misled to
1 RFA No. 235 of 2008 dated 28th April, 2009
11
believe that “The RENAISSANCE, COCHIN” was a part of the
plaintiff’s hotel chain and therefore, he resided there.   The
High Court observed that in the present case, none of the
customers had made such a claim.  It further observed that
the witness of the appellant­plaintiff had admitted that the
respondents­defendants serve only vegetarian food without
liquor   and   that   he   had   no   idea   that   the   respondentsdefendants had established two hotels exclusively for serving
the   devotees   of   Satya   Sai   Baba   at   Puttaparthi   and
Bengaluru, respectively.   The High Court further observed
that  the evidence on  record shows that the respondentsdefendants   have   not   taken   unfair   advantage,   or   that   its
existence   was   detrimental   to   the   distinctive   character   or
reputation of the appellant­plaintiff’s trade mark.  The High
Court, therefore, observed that there was no infringement of
trade mark, and as such, allowed the appeal filed by the
respondents­defendants   herein   by   setting   aside   the
judgement and decree dated 21st  June 2012 passed by the
trial court and dismissed the suit.  Being aggrieved thereby,
the appellant­plaintiff has approached this Court.
12
15. We have heard Shri K.V. Viswanathan, learned Senior
Counsel appearing on behalf of the appellant­plaintiff and
Shri B.C. Sitarama Rao, learned counsel appearing on behalf
of the respondents­defendants. 
16. Shri   Viswanathan   submitted   that   the   test   under
Sections 29(1), 29(2) and 29(3) of the Trade Marks Act, 1999
(hereinafter referred to as the “said Act”) would be applicable
in the present case, where the class of goods or services is
identical or similar. He submitted that, however, the High
Court   has   grossly   erred   in   applying   the   test   as   provided
under Section 29(4) of the said Act.   The learned Senior
Counsel submitted that the High Court has further erred in
only   referring   to   the   condition   stipulated   in   clause   (c)   of
Section 29(4) of the said Act.   He submitted that Section
29(4) of the said Act would be applicable only if all the three
conditions specified therein are satisfied.  The learned Senior
Counsel   further   submitted   that   the   High   Court   has   also
failed to take into consideration that since the respondentsdefendants   were   using   the   appellant­plaintiff’s   registered
trade mark “RENAISSANCE” as a part of their trade name for
13
the   hotels   and   as   a   part   of   the   name   of   their   business
concern, it squarely falls under sub­section (5) of Section 29
of the said Act and therefore, the respondents­defendants
were liable for infringement of registered trade mark.
17. Shri   Viswanathan   further   submitted   that   merely
because the respondents­defendants were using the prefix
“SAI”   before   the   registered   trade   mark   of   the   appellantplaintiff,   it   would   not   save   them   from   an   action   for
infringement   of   the   registered   trade   mark.    He   further
submitted that the High Court, even after observing that the
appellant­plaintiff was a prior user and registered proprietor
in respect of the mark “RENAISSANCE” and having held that
the respondents­defendants had adopted and had been using
the   registered   trade   mark   of   the   appellant­plaintiff
“RENAISSANCE” along with the prefix “SAI” and that both of
them are in the hotels and hospitality business, has totally
erred   in   holding   that   there   was   no   infringement   of   the
appellant­plaintiff’s trade mark.  The learned Senior Counsel
in support of this proposition, relies on the judgment of this
14
Court in the case of  Laxmikant  V.   Patel   v.   Chetanbhai
Shah and Another2
.
18. Shri  Viswanathan   further  submitted that  the  test  of
deception or confusion has been wrongly applied by the High
Court inasmuch as, in an action for infringement, where the
respondents­defendants’   trade   mark   is   identical   with   the
appellant­plaintiff’s trade mark, such a test would not be
applicable.   In support of this proposition, he relies on the
judgment of this Court in the case of  Ruston  &  Hornsby
Limited v. Zamindara Engineering Co.3
.
19. Shri   Viswanathan   submitted   that   in   an   action   for
infringement, where the similarity between the plaintiff’s and
the defendant’s mark is close either visually, phonetically or
otherwise, and once it is found by the Court that there is an
imitation, no further evidence is required to establish that
the plaintiff’s rights are violated.  Reliance in this respect is
placed on the judgment of this Court in the case of Kaviraj
2 (2002) 3 SCC 65
3 (1969) 2 SCC 727
15
Pandit   Durga   Dutt   Sharma   v.   Navaratna
Pharmaceutical Laboratories4
.
20. The learned Senior Counsel further submitted that the
High Court, while reversing the judgement and decree passed
by the trial court, has not applied the law correctly, as laid
down by this Court in the case of Midas Hygiene Industries
(P) Limited and Another v. Sudhir Bhatia and Others5
.
21. Shri Sitarama Rao, learned counsel appearing on behalf
of the respondents­defendants, submitted that the very suit
filed by the appellant­plaintiff itself was not maintainable
inasmuch as the appellant­plaintiff was not a legal person.  It
is   further   submitted   that   “RENAISSANCE”   is   a   generic
English   word   and   the   appellant­plaintiff   cannot   claim
monopoly of the same.   He submitted that the respondent
No. 1 was named “Vijaya Sai” by his parents as they believed
that he was born as a result of the prayers made to Sri Sai
Baba.   It is further submitted that “RENAISSANCE” means
“re­birth”   and   that   the   name   “SAI   RENAISSANCE”   was
4 [1965] 1 SCR 737
5 (2004) 3 SCC 90
16
adopted for his hotel to signify the birth of Sri Puttaparthi Sai
Baba as a reincarnation of Sri Shirdi Sai Baba and that the
use   of   mark   “SAI   RENAISSANCE”   amounts   to   honest
concurrent use under Section 12 of the said Act.  He further
submitted   that   the   appellant­plaintiff   acquiesced   to   the
respondents­defendants’ use of the mark inasmuch as the
suit came to be filed after a long time gap.
22. Shri Sitarama Rao submitted that the High Court has
rightly held that the respondents­defendants’ use was honest
and that the reasoning given by them for adopting the word
“SAI RENAISSANCE” was justifiable.   He further submitted
that   the   High   Court   has   rightly   held   that   the   class   of
customers   to   which   the   appellant­plaintiff   and   the
respondents­defendants were catering was totally different,
and as such, had rightly allowed the appeal and dismissed
the suit.
23. The   learned   counsel   appearing   on   behalf   of   the
respondents­defendants relies on the judgments of this Court
in the cases of  Khoday  Distilleries  Limited  (Now  known
as Khoday India Limited) v. Scotch Whisky Association
17
and Others6
, Nandhini Deluxe v. Karnataka Cooperative
Milk   Producers   Federation   Limited7
,  Corn   Products
Refining   Co.   v.   Shangrila   Food   Products   Limited8
  and
Neon   Laboratories   Limited   v.   Medical   Technologies
Limited and Others9
.
24. Shri   Viswanathan,   in   rejoinder,   has   placed   certain
documents   on   record   to   show   that   the   respondentsdefendants have already discontinued the use of the term
“RENAISSANCE” from the name of their hotel, signage, etc.,
and   as   such,   accepted   that   their   use   of   the   term
“RENAISSANCE” amounted to infringement of the appellantplaintiff’s trade mark.
25. For   appreciation   of   the   rival   controversy,   it   will   be
appropriate   to   briefly   refer   to   the   legislative   scheme   with
regard to the trade mark laws.  
26. On the day when India attained independence, the law
with regard to registration and effective protection of trade
6 (2008) 10 SCC 723
7 (2018) 9 SCC 183
8 [1960] 1 SCR 968
9 (2016) 2 SCC 672
18
marks   was   governed   by   The   Trade   Marks   Act,   1940
(hereinafter referred to as the “1940 Act”).  Section 21 of the
1940 Act provided for the right conferred by registration and
the exclusive right to use of the trade mark to the registered
proprietor   of   the   trade   mark   and   infringement   thereof.
Section 21 of the 1940 Act reads thus:
“21. Right conferred by registration.— (1) Subject
to the provisions of Sections 22, 25 and 26, the
registration of a person in the register as proprietor
of a trade mark in respect of any goods shall give to
that person the exclusive right to the use of the
trade mark in relation to those goods and, without
prejudice   to   the   generality   of   the   foregoing
provision, that right shall be deemed to be infringed
by any person who, not being the proprietor of the
trade mark or a registered user thereof using by way
of the permitted use, uses a mark identical with it
or so nearly resembling it as to be likely to deceive
or   cause   confusion,   in   the   course   of   trade,   in
relation   to   any   goods   in   respect   of   which   it   is
registered, and in such manner as to render the use
of the mark likely to be taken either—
(a) as being used as a trade mark; or
(b) to import a reference to some person
having the right either as a proprietor or
as registered user to use the trade mark
or to goods with which such a person as
aforesaid is connected in the course of
trade.”
19
27. The legislature noticed that the 1940 Act was enacted
prior   to   attaining   independence,   and   after   attaining
independence, the development in the field of commerce and
industry was quite rapid, and it was found that the law
relating to trade marks was not adequate enough to meet the
growing demands. Accordingly, The Trade and Merchandise
Marks Act, 1958 (hereinafter referred to as the “1958 Act”)
was   enacted.   Section   29   of   the   1958   Act   dealt   with   the
infringement of trade marks, which reads thus:
“29.   Infringement   of   trade   marks.—(1)   A
registered trade mark is infringed by a person who,
not being the registered proprietor of the trade mark
or   a   registered   user   thereof   using   by   way   of
permitted use, uses in the course of a trade mark
which is identical with, or deceptively similar to, the
trade mark, in relation to any goods in respect of
which   the   trade   mark   is   registered   and   in   such
manner as to render the use of the mark likely to be
taken as being used as a trade mark.
(2) In an action for infringement of a trade mark
registered in Part B of the register an injunction or
other relief shall not be granted to the plaintiff if the
defendant establishes to the satisfaction of the court
that   the   use   of   the   mark   of   which   the   plaintiff
complains is not likely to deceive or cause confusion
or to be taken as indicating a connection in the
course   of   trade   between   the   goods   in   respect   of
which the trade mark is registered and some person
having the right, either as registered proprietor or
as registered user, to use the trade mark.”
20
28. Thereafter, in view of the developments in trading and
commercial practices, increasing globalization of trade and
industry,   the   need   to   encourage   investment   flows   and
transfer of technology, and the need for simplification and
harmonization of trade mark management systems, it was
found necessary by the Parliament to repeal the 1958 Act
and enact a new Act, i.e., the said Act.  It will be relevant to
refer to the Statement of Objects and Reasons of the said Act:
“The Trade and Merchandise Marks Act, 1958 has
served its purpose over the last four decades.  It was
felt that a comprehensive review of the existing law
be made in view of developments in trading and
commercial   practices,   increasing   globalization   of
trade   and   industry,   the   need   to   encourage
investment flows and transfer of technology, need
for simplification and harmonization of trade mark
management systems and to give effect to important
judicial decisions.   To achieve these purposes, the
present Bill proposes to incorporate, inter alia the
following, namely:­ 
…..
(j) prohibiting use of someone else’s trade marks
as part of corporate names, or name of business
concern;
……”
21
29. The Trade Marks Bill of 1999 was passed by both the
Houses of Parliament and the assent of the President was
received on 30th December 1999.  It came into force on 15th
September 2003.  It will be relevant to refer to Sections 28
and 29 of the said Act:
“28. Rights conferred by registration.—(1) Subject
to the other provisions of this Act, the registration of
a trade mark shall, if valid, give to the registered
proprietor of the trade mark the exclusive right to
the use of the trade mark in relation to the goods or
services   in   respect   of   which   the   trade   mark   is
registered   and   to   obtain   relief   in   respect   of
infringement   of   the   trade   mark   in   the   manner
provided by this Act.
(2) The exclusive right to the use of a trade mark
given under sub­section (1) shall be subject to any
conditions and limitations to which the registration
is subject.
(3)   Where   two   or   more   persons   are   registered
proprietors of trade marks, which are identical with
or nearly resemble each other, the exclusive right to
the use of any of those trade marks shall not (except
so far as their respective rights are subject to any
conditions or limitations entered on the register) be
deemed to have been acquired by any one of those
persons   as   against   any   other   of   those   persons
merely by registration of the trade marks but each
of those persons has otherwise the same rights as
against other persons (not being registered users
using by way of permitted use) as he would have if
he were the sole registered proprietor.
29.  Infringement of registered  trade marks.—(1)
A registered trade mark is infringed by a person
22
who, not being a registered proprietor or a person
using by way of permitted use, uses in the course of
trade, a mark which is identical with, or deceptively
similar to, the trade mark in relation to goods or
services   in   respect   of   which   the   trade   mark   is
registered and in such manner as to render the use
of the mark likely to be taken as being used as a
trade mark.
(2)   A   registered   trade   mark   is   infringed   by   a
person who, not being a registered proprietor or a
person using by way of permitted use, uses in the
course of trade, a mark which because of—
(a)   its   identity   with   the   registered   trade
mark and the similarity of the goods or
services covered by such registered trade
mark; or
(b) its similarity to the registered trade mark
and the identity or similarity of the goods
or   services   covered   by   such   registered
trade mark; or
(c) its identity with the registered trade mark
and the identity of the goods or services
covered by such registered trade mark,
is   likely   to   cause   confusion   on   the   part   of   the
public, or which is likely to have an association with
the registered trade mark.
(3) In any case falling under clause (c) of subsection (2), the court shall presume that it is likely
to cause confusion on the part of the public.
(4)   A   registered   trade   mark   is   infringed   by   a
person who, not being a registered proprietor or a
person using by way of permitted use, uses in the
course of trade, a mark which—
(a)   is   identical   with   or   similar   to   the
registered trade mark; and
23
(b) is used in relation to goods or services
which are not similar to those for which
the trade mark is registered; and
(c)   the   registered   trade   mark   has   a
reputation in India and the use of the
mark   without   due   cause   takes   unfair
advantage   of   or   is   detrimental   to,   the
distinctive   character   or   repute   of   the
registered trade mark.
(5) A registered trade mark is infringed by a person
if he uses such registered trade mark, as his trade
name or part of his trade name, or name of his
business   concern   or   part   of   the   name,   of   his
business concern dealing in goods or services in
respect of which the trade mark is registered.
(6) For the purposes of this section, a person uses a
registered mark, if, in particular, he—
(a)   affixes   it   to   goods   or   the   packaging
thereof;
(b)   offers   or   exposes   goods   for   sale,   puts
them on the market, or stocks them for
those purposes under the registered trade
mark, or offers or supplies services under
the registered trade mark;
(c)   imports   or   exports   goods   under   the
mark; or
(d)   uses   the   registered   trade   mark   on
business papers or in advertising.
(7) A registered trade mark is infringed by a person
who   applies   such   registered   trade   mark   to   a
material   intended   to   be   used   for   labelling   or
packaging   goods,   as   a   business   paper,   or   for
advertising goods or services, provided such person,
when he applied the mark, knew or had reason to
believe that the application of the mark was not
duly authorised by the proprietor or a licensee.
24
(8)   A   registered   trade   mark   is   infringed   by   any
advertising of that trade mark if such advertising—
(a) takes unfair advantage of and is contrary
to   honest   practices   in   industrial   or
commercial matters; or
(b) is detrimental to its distinctive character;
or
(c)   is   against   the   reputation   of   the   trade
mark.
(9) Where the distinctive elements of a registered
trade mark consist of or include words, the trade
mark may be infringed by the spoken use of those
words as well as by their visual representation and
reference in this section to the use of a mark shall
be construed accordingly.”
30. Sub­section (1) of Section 28 of the said Act provides
that   subject   to   the   other   provisions   of   the   said   Act,   the
registration   of   a   trade   mark   shall,   if   valid,   give   to   the
registered proprietor of the trade mark the exclusive right to
the use of the trade mark in relation to the goods or services
in respect of which the trade mark is registered and to obtain
relief in respect of infringement of the trade mark in the
manner provided by the said Act.  Sub­section (2) of Section
28 of the said Act provides that the exclusive right to the use
of a trade mark given under sub­section (1) of Section 28 of
the   said   Act   shall   be   subject   to   any   conditions   and
25
limitations   to   which   the   registration   is   subject.     The
provisions of sub­section (3) of Section 28 of the said Act
would not be relevant for the purpose of the present case.
31. Sub­section (1) of Section 29 of the said Act provides
that a registered trade mark is infringed by a person  who,
not being a registered proprietor or a person using by way of
permitted use, uses in the course of trade, a mark which is
identical with, or deceptively similar to, the trade mark in
relation to goods or services in respect of which the trade
mark is registered and in such manner as to render the use
of the mark likely to be taken as being used as a trade mark.
Sub­section (2) of Section 29 of the said Act provides that a
registered trade mark is infringed by a person who, not being
a registered proprietor or a person using by way of permitted
use, uses in the course of trade, a mark which because of its
identity with the registered trade mark and the similarity of
the goods or services covered by such registered trade mark;
or its similarity to the registered trade mark and the identity
or   similarity   of   the   goods   or   services   covered   by   such
registered trade mark; or its identity with the registered trade
26
mark and the identity of the goods or services covered by
such registered trade mark, is likely to cause confusion on
the   part   of   the   public,   or   which   is   likely   to   have   an
association with the registered trade mark. Sub­section (3) of
Section 29 of the said Act is of vital importance.  It provides
that in any case falling under clause (c) of sub­section (2) of
Section 29 of the said Act, the court shall presume that it is
likely to cause confusion on the part of the public. 
32. A perusal of sub­section (2) of Section 29 of the said Act
would reveal that a registered trade mark would be infringed
by   a   person,   who   not   being   a   registered   proprietor   or   a
person using by way of permitted use, uses in the course of
trade,   a   mark   which   because   of   the   three   eventualities
mentioned   in   clauses   (a),   (b)   and   (c),   is   likely   to   cause
confusion on the part of the public, or which is likely to have
an  association  with  the  registered  trade mark.    The  first
eventuality covered by clause (a) being its identity with the
registered   trade   mark   and   the   similarity   of   the   goods   or
services covered by such registered trade mark.  The second
one covered by clause (b) being its similarity to the registered
27
trade mark and the identity or similarity of the goods or
services covered by such registered trade mark.   The third
eventuality stipulated in clause (c) would be its identity with
the registered trade mark and the identity of the goods or
services covered by such registered trade mark.  
33. It is, however, pertinent to note that by virtue of subsection (3) of Section 29 of the said Act, the legislative intent
insofar   as   the   eventuality   contained   in   clause   (c)   is
concerned, is clear.  Sub­section (3) of Section 29 of the said
Act provides that in any case falling under clause (c) of subsection (2) of Section 29 of the said Act, the Court shall
presume that it is likely to cause confusion on the part of the
public.  
34. Sub­section (4) of Section 29 of the said Act provides
that a  registered trade mark is infringed by a person who,
not being a registered proprietor or a person using by way of
permitted use, uses in the course of trade, a mark which is
identical with or similar to the registered trade mark; and is
used in relation to goods or services which are not similar to
those   for   which   the   trade   mark   is   registered;   and   the
28
registered trade mark has a reputation in India and the use
of the mark without due cause takes unfair advantage of or
is detrimental to, the distinctive character or repute of the
registered trade mark. 
35. Sub­section (5) of Section 29 of the said Act provides
that a registered trade mark is infringed by a person if he
uses such registered trade mark, as his trade name or part of
his trade name, or name of his business concern or part of
the   name,   of   his   business   concern   dealing   in   goods   or
services in respect of which the trade mark is registered.
36. Sub­section (6) of Section 29 of the said Act provides
that   for   the   purposes   of   this   section,   a   person   uses   a
registered mark, if, in particular, he affixes it to goods or the
packaging thereof; offers or exposes goods for sale, puts them
on the market, or stocks them for those purposes under the
registered trade mark, or offers or supplies services under
the registered trade mark; imports or exports goods under
the mark; or uses the registered trade mark on business
papers or in advertising. 
29
37. Sub­section (7) of Section 29 of the said Act provides
that a registered trade mark is infringed by a person who
applies such registered trade mark to a material intended to
be   used   for   labelling   or   packaging   goods,   as   a   business
paper, or for advertising goods or services, provided such
person, when he applied the mark, knew or had reason to
believe   that   the   application   of   the   mark   was   not   duly
authorized by the proprietor or a licensee.
38. Sub­section (8) of Section 29 of the said Act provides
that a registered trade mark is infringed by any advertising of
that trade mark if such advertising takes unfair advantage of
and   is   contrary   to   honest   practices   in   industrial   or
commercial   matters;   or   is   detrimental   to   its   distinctive
character; or is against the reputation of the trade mark.
39. Sub­section (9) of Section 29 of the said Act provides
that where the distinctive elements of a registered trade mark
consist of or include words, the trade mark may be infringed
by the spoken use of those words as well as by their visual
30
representation and reference in this section to the use of a
mark shall be construed accordingly.
40. Section 30 of the said Act deals with the limits on effect
of registered trade mark.  Section 30 of the said Act, which
would also be of vital importance in the present case, reads
thus:
“30. Limits on effect of registered trade mark.—
(1)   Nothing   in   Section   29   shall   be   construed   as
preventing the use of a registered trade mark by any
person   for   the   purposes   of   identifying   goods   or
services as those of the proprietor provided the use
(a) is in accordance with honest practices
in industrial or commercial matters, and
(b)   is   not   such   as   to   take   unfair
advantage   of   or   be   detrimental   to   the
distinctive   character   or   repute   of   the
trade mark.
(2) A registered trade mark is not infringed where—
(a) the use in relation to goods or services
indicates   the   kind,   quality,   quantity,
intended   purpose,   value,   geographical
origin, the time of production of goods or
of   rendering   of   services   or   other
characteristics of goods or services;
(b) a trade mark is registered subject to
any conditions or limitations, the use of
the trade mark in any manner in relation
to goods to be sold or otherwise traded in,
in any place, or in relation to goods to be
31
exported to any market or in relation to
services for use or available or acceptance
in any place or country outside India or
in   any   other   circumstances,   to   which,
having   regard   to   those   conditions   or
limitations,   the   registration   does   not
extend;
(c) the use by a person of a trade mark—
(i) in relation to goods connected in
the   course   of   trade   with   the
proprietor or a registered user of the
trade mark if, as to those goods or a
bulk or which they form part, the
registered   proprietor   or   the
registered   user   conforming   to   the
permitted use has applied the trade
mark   and   has   not   subsequently
removed or obliterated it, or has at
any   time   expressly   or   impliedly
consented  to  the use  of the  trade
mark; or
(ii) in relation to services to which
the proprietor of such mark or of a
registered   user   conforming   to   the
permitted use has applied the mark,
where the purpose and effect of the
use of the mark is to indicate, in
accordance with the fact, that those
services have been performed by the
proprietor or a registered user of the
mark;
(d) the use of a trade mark by a person in
relation to goods adapted to form part of,
or   to   be   accessory   to,   other   goods   or
services   in   relation   to   which   the   trade
mark   has   been   used   without
infringement   of   the   right   given   by
registration under this Act or might for
32
the time being be so used, if the use of
the trade mark is reasonably necessary in
order   to   indicate   that   the   goods   or
services are so adapted, and neither the
purpose nor the effect of the use of the
trade mark is to indicate, otherwise than
in accordance with the fact, a connection
in the course of trade between any person
and the goods or services, as the case
may be;
(e) the  use of a registered trade mark,
being  one  of  two  or  more  trade  marks
registered   under   this   Act   which   are
identical or nearly resemble each other,
in exercise of the right to the use of that
trade  mark  given   by  registration   under
this Act.
(3) Where the goods bearing a registered trade mark
are lawfully acquired by a person, the sale of the
goods in the market or otherwise dealing in those
goods by that person or by a person claiming under
or through him is not infringement of a trade by
reason only of*—
(a) the registered trade mark having been
assigned by the registered proprietor to
some other person, after the acquisition
of those goods; or
(b)   the   goods   having   been   put   on   the
market under the registered trade mark
by the proprietor or with his consent.
(4) Sub­section (3) shall not apply where there exists
legitimate   reasons   for   the   proprietor   to   oppose
further dealings in the goods in particular, where
the condition of the goods, has been changed or
impaired after they have been put on the market.”
33
41. Section 31 of the said Act is also relevant in the present
case, which reads thus:
“31.  Registration  to  be  prima   facie  evidence  of
validity.—(1) In all legal proceedings relating to a
trade   mark   registered   under   this   Act   (including
applications   under   Section   57),   the   original
registration of the trade mark and of all subsequent
assignments and transmissions of the trade mark
shall be prima facie evidence of the validity thereof.
(2) In all legal proceedings, as aforesaid a registered
trade mark shall not be held to be invalid on the
ground   that  it  was  not   a   registrable  trade   mark
under   Section   9   except   upon   evidence   of
distinctiveness   and   that   such   evidence   was   not
submitted to the Registrar before registration, if it is
proved that the trade mark had been so used by the
registered proprietor or his predecessor in title as to
have become distinctive at the date of registration.”
42. It   could   thus   be   seen   that   in   all   legal   proceedings
relating to trade mark registered under the said Act, the
original registration of the trade mark and of all subsequent
assignments and transmissions of the trade mark shall be
prima facie evidence of the validity thereof.  
43. The legislative scheme is clear that when the mark of
the defendant is identical with the registered trade mark of
the plaintiff and the goods or services covered are similar to
34
the ones covered by such registered trade mark, it may be
necessary to prove that it is likely to cause confusion on the
part of the public, or which is likely to have an association
with the registered trade mark.   Similarly, when the trade
mark of the plaintiff is similar to the registered trade mark of
the defendant and the goods or services covered by such
registered trade mark are identical or similar to the goods or
services covered by such registered trade mark, it may again
be necessary to establish that it is likely to cause confusion
on the part of the public.  However, when the trade mark of
the defendant is identical with the registered trade mark of
the plaintiff and that the goods or services of the defendant
are identical with the goods or services covered by registered
trade mark, the Court shall presume that it is likely to cause
confusion on the part of the public.  
44. Having considered the legislative scheme as has been
elaborately provided in the said Act, it will be apposite to
refer   to   the   observations   of   this  Court,   while   considering
Section 21 of The Trade Marks Act, 1940 in the case of
Kaviraj Pandit Durga Dutt Sharma (supra):  
35
“28. The other ground of objection that the findings
are   inconsistent   really   proceeds   on   an   error   in
appreciating   the   basic   differences   between   the
causes   of   action   and   right   to   relief   in   suits   for
passing   off   and   for   infringement   of   a   registered
trade   mark   and   in   equating   the   essentials   of   a
passing off action with those in respect of an action
complaining of an infringement of a registered trade
mark. We have already pointed out that the suit by
the respondent complained both of an invasion of a
statutory   right   under   Section   21   in   respect   of   a
registered trade mark and also of a passing off by
the use of the same mark. The finding in favour of
the appellant to which the learned counsel drew our
attention   was   based   upon   dissimilarity   of   the
packing in which the goods of the two parties were
vended, the difference in the physical appearance of
the two packets by reason of the variation in the
colour and other features and their general get­up
together with the circumstance that the name and
address of the manufactory of the appellant was
prominently   displayed   on   his   packets   and   these
features   were   all   set   out   for   negativing   the
respondent's claim that the appellant had passed off
his goods as those of the respondent. These matters
which are of the essence of the cause of action for
relief on the ground of passing off play but a limited
role in an action for infringement of a registered
trade mark by the registered proprietor who has a
statutory   right   to   that   mark   and   who   has   a
statutory remedy for the event of the use by another
of that mark or a colourable imitation thereof. While
an action for passing off is a Common Law remedy
being in substance an action for deceit, that is, a
passing off by a person of his own goods as those of
another,   that   is   not   the   gist   of   an   action   for
infringement.   The   action   for   infringement   is   a
statutory   remedy   conferred   on   the   registered
proprietor   of   a   registered   trade   mark   for   the
vindication of the exclusive right to the use of the
36
trade mark in relation to those goods” (Vide Section
21 of the Act). The use by the defendant of the trade
mark of the plaintiff is not essential in an action for
passing off, but is the sine qua non in the case of an
action   for   infringement.   No   doubt,   where   the
evidence in respect of passing off consists merely of
the colourable use of a registered trade mark, the
essential features of both the actions might coincide
in   the   sense   that   what   would   be   a   colourable
imitation of a trade mark in a passing off action
would also be such in an action for infringement of
the same trade mark. But there the correspondence
between   the   two   ceases.   In   an   action   for
infringement, the plaintiff must, no doubt, make out
that the use of the defendant's mark is likely to
deceive,   but   where   the   similarity   between   the
plaintiff's   and   the   defendant's   mark   is   so   close
either visually, phonetically or otherwise and the
court   reaches   the   conclusion   that   there   is   an
imitation,   no   further   evidence   is   required   to
establish   that   the   plaintiff's   rights   are   violated.
Expressed in another way, if the essential features
of the trade mark of the plaintiff have been adopted
by the defendant, the fact that the get­up, packing
and other writing or marks on the goods or on the
packets in which he offers his goods for sale show
marked differences, or indicate clearly a trade origin
different from that of the registered proprietor of the
mark would be immaterial; whereas in the case of
passing off, the defendant may escape liability if he
can   show   that   the   added   matter   is   sufficient   to
distinguish his goods from those of the plaintiff.”
45.It could thus be seen that this Court has pointed out
the distinction between the causes of action and right to
relief   in   suits   for   passing   off   and   for   infringement   of
37
registered trade mark.  It has been held that the essentials of
a   passing   off   action   with   those   in   respect   of   an   action
complaining of an infringement of a registered trade mark,
cannot be equated.  It has been held that though an action
for passing off is a Common Law remedy being an action for
deceit, that is, a passing off by a person of his own goods as
those of another; the action for infringement is a statutory
right conferred on the registered proprietor of a registered
trade mark for the vindication of the exclusive rights to the
use of the trade mark in relation to those goods. The use by
the defendant of the trade mark of the plaintiff is a sine qua
non in the case of an action for infringement. It has further
been held that if the essential features of the trade mark of
the plaintiff have been adopted by the defendant, the fact
that the get­up, packing and other writing or marks on the
goods or on the packets in which he offers his goods for sale
show marked differences, or indicate clearly a trade origin
different from that of the registered proprietor of the mark,
would be immaterial in a case of infringement of the trade
mark, whereas in the case of a passing off, the defendant
38
may escape liability if he can show that the added matter is
sufficient to distinguish his goods from those of the plaintiff.
46. Again, while considering the provisions of Section 21 of
the 1940 Act, this Court in the case of Ruston & Hornsby
Limited (supra), observed thus:
“4. It   very   often   happens   that   although   the
defendant   is   not   using   the   trade   mark   of   the
plaintiff, the get up of the defendant's goods may be
so   much   like   the   plaintiff's   that   a   clear   case   of
passing off would be proved. It is on the contrary
conceivable   that   although   the   defendant   may   be
using   the   plaintiff's   mark   the   get   up   of   the
defendant's goods may be so different from the get
up of the plaintiff's goods and the prices also may
by so different that there would be no probability of
deception of the public. Nevertheless, in an action
on the trade mark, that is to say, in an infringement
action, an injunction would issue as soon as it is
proved that the defendant is improperly using the
plaintiff's mark.
5. The action for infringement is a statutory right. It
is dependent upon the validity of the registration
and   subject   to   other   restrictions   laid   down   in
Sections 30, 34 and 35 of the Act. On the other
hand the gist of a passing off action is that A is not
entitled to represent his goods as the goods of B but
it   is   not   necessary   for B to   prove   that A did   this
knowingly or with any intent to deceive. It is enough
that the get­up of B's goods has become distinctive
of them and that there is a probability of confusion
between them and the goods of A. No case of actual
deception nor any actual damage need be proved. At
common   law   the   action   was   not   maintainable
39
unless there had been fraud on A's part. In equity,
however,   Lord   Cottenham,   L.C.,
in Millington v. Fox [3 My & Cr 338] held that it was
immaterial   whether   the   defendant   had   been
fraudulent or not in using the plaintiff's trade mark
and granted an injunction accordingly. The common
law   courts,   however,   adhered   to   their   view   that
fraud was necessary until the Judicature Acts, by
fusing law and equity, gave the equitable rule the
victory over the common law rule.
6. The two actions, however, are closely similar in
some respects. As was observed by the Master of the
Rolls   in Saville   Perfumery   Ltd. v. June   Perfect
Ltd. [58 RPC 147 at 161] :
“The statute law relating to infringement
of   trade   marks   is   based   on   the   same
fundamental idea as the law relating to
passing­off. But it differs from that law in
two   particulars,   namely   (1)   it   is
concerned   only   with   one   method   of
passing­off, namely, the use of a trade
mark, and (2) the statutory protection is
absolute in the sense that once a mark is
shown  to  offend,  the  user  of  it  cannot
escape   by   showing   that   by   something
outside   the   actual   mark   itself   he   has
distinguished his goods from those of the
registered   proprietor.   Accordingly,   in
considering the question of infringement
the   Courts   have   held,   and   it   is   now
expressly  provided  by   the   Trade   Marks
Act, 1938, Section 4, that infringement
takes place not merely by exact imitation
but   by   the   use   of   a   mark   so   nearly
resembling the registered mark as to be
likely to deceive.””
40
47.It could thus be seen that this Court again reiterated
that the question to be asked in an infringement action is as
to whether the defendant is using a mark which is same as,
or which is a colourable imitation of the plaintiff’s registered
trade mark.  It has further been held that though the get up
of   the   defendant’s   goods   may   be   so   different   from   the
plaintiff’s goods and the prices may also be so different that
there would be no probability of  deception  of  the public,
nevertheless   even   in   such   cases,   i.e.,   in   an   infringement
action, an injunction would be issued as soon as it is proved
that the defendant is improperly using the plaintiff’s mark.  It
has been reiterated that no case of actual deception nor any
actual damage needs to be proved in such cases. This Court
has further held that though two actions are closely similar
in some respects, in an action for infringement, where the
defendant’s trade mark is identical with the plaintiff’s trade
mark, the Court will not enquire whether the infringement is
such as is likely to deceive or cause confusion.
41
48.In the present case, both the trial court and the High
Court have come to the conclusion that the trade mark of the
respondents­defendants   is   identical   with   that   of   the
appellant­plaintiff and further that the services rendered by
the respondents­defendants are under the same class, i.e.,
Class 16 and Class 42, in respect of which the appellantplaintiff’s trade mark “RENAISSANCE” was registered.   In
such circumstances, the trial court had rightly held that the
goods of the appellant­plaintiff would be covered by Section
29(2)(c) read with Section 29(3) of the said Act. 
49. However, the High Court, while reversing the decree of
injunction   granted   by   the   trial   court,   has   held   that   the
appellant­plaintiff had failed to establish that the trade mark
has reputation in India and that the respondents­defendants’
use   thereof   was   honest   and   further   that   there   was   no
confusion likely to be created in the minds of the consumers
inasmuch as the class of consumers was totally different.  It
appears that the High Court has relied only on clause (c) of
sub­section (4) of Section 29 of the said Act to arrive at such
a conclusion.  
42
50. We find that the High Court has totally erred in taking
into consideration only clause (c) of sub­section (4) of Section
29 of the said Act.   It is to be noted that, whereas, the
legislature has used the word ‘or’ after clauses (a) and (b) in
sub­section (2) of Section 29 of the said Act, it has used the
word   ‘and’   after   clauses   (a)   and   (b)   in   sub­section   (4)   of
Section 29 of the said Act.   It could thus be seen that the
legislative intent is very clear.  Insofar as sub­section (2) of
Section 29 of the said Act is concerned, it is sufficient that
any of the conditions as provided in clauses (a), (b) or (c) is
satisfied.  
51.It is further clear that in case of an eventuality covered
under clause (c) of sub­section (2) of Section 29 in view of the
provisions of sub­section (3) of Section 29 of the said Act, the
Court shall presume that it is likely to cause confusion on
the part of the public. 
52. The perusal of sub­section (4) of Section 29 of the said
Act would reveal that the same deals with an eventuality
when the impugned trade mark is identical with or similar to
43
the registered trade mark and is used in relation to goods or
services which are not similar to those for which the trade
mark is registered. Only in such an eventuality, it will be
necessary to establish that the registered trade mark has a
reputation in India and the use of the mark without due
cause takes unfair advantage of or is detrimental to, the
distinctive character or repute of the registered trade mark.
The legislative intent is clear by employing the word “and”
after clauses (a) and (b) in sub­section (4) of Section 29 of the
said Act.  Unless all the three conditions are satisfied, it will
not be open to the proprietor of the registered trade mark to
sue for infringement when though the impugned trade mark
is identical with the registered trade mark, but is used in
relation to goods or services which are not similar to those
for which the trade mark is registered.   To sum up, while
sub­section (2) of Section 29 of the said Act deals with those
situations where the trade mark is identical or similar and
the goods covered by such a trade mark are identical or
similar, sub­section (4) of Section 29 of the said Act deals
with situations where though the trade mark is identical, but
44
the goods or services are not similar to those for which the
trade mark is registered.  
53. Undisputedly,   the   appellant­plaintiff’s   trade   mark
“RENAISSANCE”   is   registered   in   relation   to   goods   and
services   in   Class   16   and   Class   42   and   the   mark   “SAI
RENAISSANCE”, which is identical or similar to that of the
appellant­plaintiff’s   trade   mark,   was   being   used   by   the
respondents­defendants in relation to the goods and services
similar to that of the appellant­plaintiff’s. 
54.In these circumstances, we are of the considered view
that it was not open for the High Court to have entered into
the discussion as to whether the appellant­plaintiff’s trade
mark had a reputation in India and the use of the mark
without   due   cause   takes   unfair   advantage   of   or   is
detrimental   to,   the   distinctive   character   or   repute   of   the
registered trade mark.  We find that the High Court has erred
in   entering   into   the   discussion   as   to   whether   the
respondents­defendants and the appellant­plaintiff cater to
different classes of customers and as to whether there was
45
likely to be confusion in the minds of consumers with regard
to the hotel of the respondents­defendants belonging to the
same group as of the appellant­plaintiff’s.   As held by this
Court in the case of Ruston & Hornsby Limited (supra), in
an   action   for   infringement,   once   it   is   found   that   the
defendant’s   trade   mark   was   identical   with   the   plaintiff’s
registered trade mark, the Court could not have gone into an
enquiry   whether   the   infringement   is   such   as   is   likely   to
deceive or cause confusion.   In an infringement action, an
injunction would be issued as soon as it is proved that the
defendant is improperly using the trade mark of the plaintiff.
55. It is not in dispute that the appellant­plaintiff’s trade
mark   “RENAISSANCE”   is   registered   under   Class   16   and
Class 42, which deals with hotels and hotel related services
and goods.  It is also not in dispute that the mark and the
business name “SAI RENAISSANCE”, which was being used
by the respondents­defendants, was also in relation to Class
16   and   Class   42.   As   such,   the   use   of   the   word
“RENAISSANCE” by the respondents­defendants as a part of
46
their trade name or business concern, would squarely be hit
by sub­section (5) of Section 29 of the said Act.
56. It is further to be noted that the words “RENAISSANCE”
and “SAI RENAISSANCE” are phonetically as well as visually
similar.  As already discussed hereinabove, sub­section (9) of
Section 29 of the said Act provides that where the distinctive
elements of a registered trade mark consist of or include
words, the trade mark may be infringed by the spoken use of
those words as well as by their visual representation.   As
such, the use of the word “SAI RENAISSANCE” which is
phonetically and visually similar to “RENAISSANCE”, would
also be an act of infringement in view of the provisions of
sub­section (9) of Section 29 of the said Act.
57.It is pertinent to note that, the High Court has relied on
Section   30(1)(b)   of   the   said   Act   in   paragraph   (18)   of   the
impugned judgment.  It will be relevant to refer to paragraph
(18), which reads thus:
“18.  Section 30(1)(b) of the Act has also contextual
application. This Section reads as follows:­
“30.     Limits   of   effect   of   registered
trade mark.­   (1)  Nothing in section 29
47
shall be construed as preventing the use
of a registered trade mark by any person
for the purposes of identifying goods or
services   as   those   of   the   proprietor
provided the use­
(a)xxxxxxxxxxx
(b)is   not   such   as   to   take   unfair
advantage of or be detrimental to
the distinctive character or repute
of the trade mark.””
58. The glaring mistake that has been committed by the
High   Court   is   the   failure   to   notice   the   following   part   of
Section 30(1) of the said Act:
“(a)   is   in   accordance   with   honest   practices   in
industrial or commercial matters, and”
59. The perusal of Section 30(1) of the said Act would reveal
that for availing the benefit of Section 30 of the said Act, it is
required   that   the   twin   conditions,   i.e.,   the   use   of   the
impugned trade mark being in accordance with the honest
practices in industrial or commercial matters, and that such
a   use   is   not   such   as   to   take   unfair   advantage   of   or   be
detrimental to the distinctive character or repute of the trade
mark, are required to be fulfilled.  It is again to be noted that
48
in sub­section (1) of Section 30 of the said Act, after clause
(a), the word used is ‘and’, like the one used in sub­section
(4) of Section 29 of the said Act, in contradistinction to the
word ‘or’ used in sub­section (2) of Section 29 of the said Act.
The High Court has referred only to the condition stipulated
in clause (b) of sub­section (1) of Section 30 of the said Act
ignoring the fact that, to get the benefit of sub­section (1) of
Section 30 of the said Act, both the conditions had to be
fulfilled.   Unless   it   is   established   that   such   a   use   is   in
accordance   with   the   honest   practices   in   industrial   or
commercial matters, and is not to take unfair advantage or is
not detrimental to the distinctive character or repute of the
trade mark, one could not get benefit under Section 30(1) of
the said Act. As such, the finding in this regard by the High
Court is also erroneous. 
60. We find that the High Court has failed to take into
consideration two important principles of interpretation.  The
first one being of textual and contextual interpretation.   It
will be apposite to refer to the guiding principles, succinctly
summed up by Chinnappa Reddy, J., in the judgment of this
49
Court in the case of  Reserve   Bank   of   India   v.   Peerless
General Finance and Investment Co. Ltd. and Others10:
“33. Interpretation must depend on the text and the
context. They are the bases of interpretation. One
may well say if the text is the texture, context is
what gives the colour. Neither can be ignored. Both
are   important.   That   interpretation   is   best   which
makes   the   textual   interpretation   match   the
contextual. A statute is best interpreted when we
know why it was enacted. With this knowledge, the
statute must be read, first as a whole and then
section   by   section,   clause   by   clause,   phrase   by
phrase and word by word. If a statute is looked at,
in the context of its enactment, with the glasses of
the   statute­maker,   provided   by   such   context,   its
scheme, the sections, clauses, phrases and words
may take colour and appear different than when the
statute is looked at without the glasses provided by
the context. With these glasses we must look at the
Act as a whole and discover what each section, each
clause, each phrase and each word is meant and
designed to say as to fit into the scheme of the
entire Act. No part of a statute and no word of a
statute can be construed in isolation. Statutes have
to be construed so that every word has a place and
everything is in its place. It is by looking at the
definition as a whole in the setting of the entire Act
and by reference to what preceded the enactment
and the reasonsfor it that the Court construed the
expression “Prize Chit” in Srinivasa [(1980) 4 SCC
507 : (1981) 1 SCR 801 : 51 Com Cas 464] and we
find   no   reason   to   depart   from   the   Court's
construction.”
10 (1987) 1 SCC 424
50
61.It is thus trite law that while interpreting the provisions
of a statute, it is necessary that the textual interpretation
should be matched with the contextual one.  The Act must be
looked at as a whole and it must be discovered what each
section, each clause, each phrase and each word is meant
and designed to say as to fit into the scheme of the entire
Act.   No part of a statute and no word of a statute can be
construed in isolation.  Statutes have to be construed so that
every word has a place and everything is in its place.   As
already   discussed   hereinabove,   the   said   Act   has   been
enacted   by   the   legislature   taking   into   consideration   the
increased globalization of trade and industry, the need to
encourage investment flows and transfer of technology, and
the need for simplification and harmonization of trade mark
management systems.   One of the purposes for which the
said Act has been enacted is prohibiting the use of someone
else’s trade mark as a part of the corporate name or the
name of business concern.  If the entire scheme of the Act is
construed as a whole, it provides for the rights conferred by
registration   and   the   right   to   sue   for   infringement   of   the
51
registered   trade   mark   by   its   proprietor.     The   legislative
scheme   as   enacted   under   the   said   statute   elaborately
provides for the eventualities in which a proprietor of the
registered trade mark can bring an action for infringement of
the trade mark and the limits on effect of the registered trade
mark.  By picking up a part of the provisions in sub­section
(4) of Section 29 of the said Act and a part of the provision in
sub­section (1) of Section 30 of the said Act and giving it a
textual meaning without considering the context in which the
said provisions have to be construed, in our view, would not
be permissible.  We are at pains to say that the High Court
fell in error in doing so.  
62. Another   principle   that   the   High   Court   has   failed   to
notice is that a part of a section cannot be read in isolation.
This Court, speaking through A.P. Sen, J., in the case of
Balasinor   Nagrik   Cooperative   Bank   Ltd.   v.   Babubhai
Shankerlal Pandya and Others11, observed thus:
“4. …..It is an elementary rule that construction of a
section is to be made of all parts together. It is not
permissible to omit any part of it. For, the principle
11 (1987) 1 SCC 606
52
that the statute must be read as a whole is equally
applicable to different parts of the same section…..”
This principle was reiterated by this Court in the case of
Kalawatibai v. Soiryabai and Others12:
“6. ….. It is well settled that a section has to be read
in   its   entirety   as   one   composite   unit   without
bifurcating it or ignoring any part of it…..”
63.Ignoring this principle, the High Court has picked up
clause (c) of sub­section (4) of Section 29 of the said Act in
isolation   without   even   noticing   the   other   provisions
contained in the said sub­section (4) of Section 29 of the said
Act.   Similarly, again while considering the import of subsection (1) of Section 30 of the said Act, the High Court has
only picked up clause (b) of sub­section (1) of Section 30 of
the said Act, ignoring the provisions contained in clause (a)
of the said sub­section (1) of Section 30 of the said Act.
64. That leaves us with the reliance placed by the High
Court on the judgment of this Court in the case of  Midas
12 (1991) 3 SCC 410
53
Hygiene Industries (P) Limited (supra). The High Court has
relied   on   the   following   observations   of   this   Court  in   the
aforementioned case:
“5. The law on the subject is well settled. In cases of
infringement either of trade mark or of copyright,
normally an injunction must follow. Mere delay in
bringing action is not sufficient to defeat grant of
injunction  in  such cases.  The   grant   of   injunction
also becomes necessary if it prima facie appears that
the adoption of the mark was itself dishonest.
[emphasis supplied by me]”
65. The emphasis has been placed by the High Court
on   the   observations   of   this   Court  in   the   case   of  Midas
Hygiene Industries (P) Limited (supra) to the effect that the
grant of injunction also becomes necessary if it  prima facie
appears that the adoption of the mark was itself dishonest.
The High Court has relied upon the said observations to
reverse the order of injunction on the ground that there is no
dishonesty in the respondents­defendants’ adoption of the
mark and therefore, they cannot be said to have infringed the
trade   mark.     In   our   considered   view,   the   aforesaid
observations are made out of context.  In the said case, the
54
suit   was   filed   for   passing   off   or   for   infringement   of   the
copyright.   In the said case, the Single Judge of the High
Court had granted injunction in favour of the plaintiff from
manufacturing,   marketing,   distributing   or   selling
insecticides, pesticides as well as insect repellent under the
name ‘LAXMAN REKHA’.   The Division Bench had vacated
the   injunction   on   the   ground   that   there   was   delay   and
laches.     This   Court   found   that   at   least   from   1991,   the
plaintiff   was   using   the   mark   ‘LAXMAN   REKHA’   and   the
plaintiff was having a copyright in the marks ‘KRAZY LINES’
and ‘LAXMAN REKHA’ with effect from 19th November 1991.
It   was   also   found   that   the   respondent   worked   with   the
plaintiff prior to launching his business.   In the said case,
this Court observed that the grant of injunction becomes
necessary if it  prima facie  appears that the adoption of the
mark   was   itself   dishonest.     However,   the   said   judgment
cannot be used as a ratio for the proposition that, if the
plaintiff fails to prove that the defendant’s use was dishonest,
an injunction cannot be granted. On the contrary, the High
Court has failed to take into consideration the observations
55
made in the very same paragraph to the effect that in cases
of infringement, either of a trade mark or copyright, normally
an injunction must follow.
66.Insofar as the reliance placed by the learned counsel for
the respondents­defendants on the judgment of this Court in
the   case   of  Khoday   Distilleries   Limited  (supra)   is
concerned, the said case arose out of an application filed by
the applicants on 21st April 1986 with regard to rectification
of the trade mark. In the said case, the manufacture of the
product was started by the company in May 1968.  The said
company   filed   an   application   for   registration   of   its   mark
before   the   competent   authority.     The   manufacturer   was
informed that its application was accepted and it was allowed
to proceed with the advertisement and the trade mark was
subsequently   registered   inasmuch   as   there   was   only   one
opposition,   and   as   such,   the   trade   mark   came   to   be
registered.   The   applicants   had   not   filed   any   opposition
application.  They came to know of the manufacturer’s mark
on or about 20th September 1974.  They filed an application
for rectification of the said trade mark on 21st  April 1986.
56
The question of acquiescence was considered in the said case
since   it   was   noticed   that   though   the   product   was   being
manufactured since 1968 and though the applicants who
sought rectification application came to know about the same
on   or   around   20th  September   1974,   the   rectification
application   came   to   be   filed   only   in   the   year   1986.   The
present case arises out of an action for infringement of a
trade mark.  As such, ratio in Khoday Distilleries Limited
(supra), would not be applicable to the present case.   It is
further to be noted that this Court in paragraph (84) of the
said judgment has specifically observed that the said Act had
no application in the said case, which reads thus:
“84. So far as the applicability of the 1999 Act is
concerned,   having   regard   to   the   provisions   of
Sections 20(2) and 26(2), we are of the opinion that
the 1999 Act will have no application.”
67.In   that   view   of   the   matter,   reliance   placed   by   the
respondents­defendants on the judgment of this Court in the
case of Khoday Distilleries Limited (supra) is misplaced.
57
68.Insofar as reliance placed on the judgment of this Court
in the case of Nandhini Deluxe (supra) is concerned, in the
said case, the marks for consideration were “Nandhini” and
“Nandini”.   It   will   be   relevant   to   refer   to   the   following
observations of this Court in the said case:
“30. Applying the aforesaid principles to the instant
case, when we find that not only visual appearance
of the two marks is different, they even relate to
different products. Further, the manner in which
they are traded by the appellant and the respondent
respectively,   highlighted   above,   it   is   difficult   to
imagine   that   an   average   man   of   ordinary
intelligence   would   associate   the   goods   of   the
appellant as that of the respondent.”
69. It could thus be seen that in the facts of the said case,
not   only   the   visual   appearance   of   the   two   marks   were
different,   but   they   even   related   to   different   products.   As
such, the said judgment would also be of no assistance to the
case of the respondents­defendants in the present case.
70. Insofar as the reliance placed on the judgment of this
Court in the case of Neon Laboratories Limited  (supra) is
concerned, the said case arose out of the proceedings for
grant of temporary injunction under Order XXXIX Rules 1
58
and 2 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908.  The trial court
had granted an injunction in favour of the plaintiff finding
that the plaintiff had, with prima facie material, established
that it was using their trade mark well before the attempted
use   of   an   identical   or   closely   similar   trade   mark   by   the
appellant­defendant.  The said injunction was affirmed by the
Single Judge of the High Court.  Confirming the concurrent
orders, this Court held that the plaintiff would be entitled to
a temporary injunction in light of the “first in the market”
test. As such, the said judgment would also not be applicable
to the facts of the present case.
71. We are, therefore, of the considered view that the High
Court fell in error on various counts.  The present case stood
squarely covered by the provisions of Section 29(2)(c) read
with   sub­section   (3)   of   Section   29   of   the   said   Act.     The
present case also stood covered under sub­sections (5) and
(9) of Section 29 of the said Act.  The High Court has erred in
taking   into   consideration   clause   (c)   of   sub­section   (4)   of
Section 29 of the said Act in isolation without noticing other
parts of the said sub­section (4) of Section 29 of the said Act
59
and the import thereof. The High Court has failed to take into
consideration that in order to avail the benefit of Section 30
of the said Act, apart from establishing that the use of the
impugned   trade   mark   was   not   such   as   to   take   unfair
advantage of or is detrimental to the distinctive character or
repute of the trade mark, it is also necessary to establish that
such a use is in accordance with the honest practices in
industrial   or   commercial   matters.   As   such,   we   have   no
hesitation to hold that the High Court was not justified in
interfering with the well­reasoned order of the trial court. 
72. Therefore, we are of the considered view that the High
Court fell in error by interfering with the well­reasoned order
of the trial court and so, the present appeal deserves to be
allowed.  
73. In the result, the appeal is allowed and the impugned
judgment and order dated 12th April 2019 passed by the High
Court of Karnataka at Bengaluru in Regular First Appeal No.
1462 of 2012 is quashed and set aside.  The judgement and
decree dated 21st June 2012 passed by the trial court in O.S.
No. 3 of 2009 is maintained. 
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74. No order as to cost.  Pending application(s), if any, are
disposed of in the above terms.
……....….......................J.
[L. NAGESWARA RAO]
..…....….......................J.
      [B.R. GAVAI]
                                       ….…….........................J.
  [B.V. NAGARATHNA]
NEW DELHI;
JANUARY 19, 2022.
61

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