-Report by Ojas Bhatnagar
The Delhi High Court has restrained a Ghaziabad-based pizza outlet called ‘Dominick Pizza’ for inflicting trademark infringement by naming it after commercial giant ‘Dominos pizza’. This was held in the case of DOMINOS IP HOLDER LLC & ANR. vs MS DOMINICK PIZZA & ANR.
A pizza outlet by the name of “Dominick Pizza” in Ghaziabad has been seriously tarnishing the image of Domino’s Pizza by using a very similar name and logo. The menu of the Dominick pizza is also quite similar to the original Dominos Pizza, by bringing in various pizza variants like “Cheese Burst” and “Pasta Italiano”. This was seen as a grave violation of trademark rules. Dominos Pizza had filed a suit to the High Court seeking an injunction and claiming damages.
There is a clear violation of infringement of the trademark. The plaintiff seeks the court’s injunction in infringement, rendition of accounts, damages and other things. They seek the protection of the mark “Dominos Pizza” and the accompanying device mark, logo mark and also the marks of pizza variants named ‘Cheese Burst’ and ‘Pasta Italiano’. These are all registered trademarks by the plaintiff, and they cannot be used by anyone else. Mr. Tom Monaghan and his brother James Monaghan had bought a pizza store by the name ‘DomiNicks Pizza’ and that is how Domino’s began. They have expanded to over 90 countries, with almost 20,000 stores operating worldwide. They have defended the ‘Dominos Pizza’ trademark in several suits and the decrees have been in their favor. The customers have been confused which is diluting the business of the plaintiff.
The defendants did not appear.
After hearing the contentions of the petitioners it is clear to the court that the competing marks are deceptive and imitative of each other. The defendant has also falsely listed itself on various social media platforms and online food delivery platforms like Zomato and Swiggy. Even online reviews by various customers show that their business was confused as being similar to Dominos. This confusion has led to the tarnishment of the image of Domino’s Pizza because the reviews on Google are negative. Irreparable injury would be caused if the injunction is not granted.
It was observed:
“Accordingly, as per the facts and circumstances of this matter, the Plaintiffs have made out a prima facie case in their favour for grant of an ex-parte ad interim injunction. The balance of convenience lies in favour of the Plaintiffs, and irreparable injury would be caused if the injunction is not granted…Accordingly, the Defendant No.1, its proprietors, partners, directors, officers, servants, agents, franchisers and all others acting for and on its behalf, are restrained from advertising, selling, offering for sale, marketing etc. any product, packaging, menu cards and advertising material, labels, stationery articles, website or any other documentation using, depicting, displaying in any manner whatsoever, the impugned marks ‘Dominick Pizza’, ‘Cheese Burst’ and ‘Pasta Italiano’ or any other marks or devices/logos which are identical or confusingly/deceptively similar to the Plaintiff’s registered trademarks, till the next date of hearing.”
Interim relief was granted to the plaintiff and the domains and websites of the defendants were also blocked.