International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) v. Iskcon Appaeral (P) Ltd. (Decided on 26-06-2020)

International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) v. Iskcon Appaeral (P) Ltd. (Decided on 26-06-2020)

In a trademark infringement suit filed by ISCKON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness) against Isckon Apparel Pvt Ltd for using the mark “ISKCON” in respect of various goods and services, ISCKON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness) has been granted the status of Well-known trademark under Section 2 (1) (zg) of Trademarks Act, 1999.


The Plaintiff had sought permanent injunction combined with a cause of action for passing off goods and other reliefs. The Plaintiff submitted before the Court that Plaintiff is a well-known trust primarily concerned with creating God consciousness/awareness amongst the devotees of Lord Krishna through preaching the message of the Bhagavad-Gita. It is stated the Plaintiff is commonly known/referred to as “ISKCON” and engaged in multifarious activities including but not limited to cultural, devotional, spiritual, entertainment, printing and publishing of religious books, publications, magazines, calendars, greeting cards, literatures, posters and other like building temples, farm communities, gaushala’s, restaurants and goods on the life of Lord Krishna, since last 50 Years.


The Plaintiff submitted that the Defendants are using the trading name, which is identical with/deceptively similar to the Plaintiff’s said registered ISKCON marks, in respect of inter-alia goods/services which are identical with/similar to the goods/services which are offered by the Plaintiff under the said registered marks/ISKCON and in respect of which the Plaintiff has secured registrations. He submitted that the Defendants are thereby infringing the Plaintiff’s said registered marks/ISKCON.


The Defendants had served a copy of his Affidavit-cum-Undertaking dated 23rd June 2020 upon the Plaintiff submitting to a decree in terms of prayer clauses (a), (b) and (c) of the plaint and has given an undertaking that the Defendants will not use the trade mark/name ISKCON by itself or as a part of the trade mark/name or in any manner whatsoever including the impugned expression “Formerly known as ISKCON”.


The single-judge bench constituted by Justice B.P. Colabawalla noted that the claim of well-known trademark by the plaintiff was not disputed by the plaintiff. It was held that “Trade Mark ISKCON has come to enjoy a personality that is beyond the mere products/services rendered thereunder and the recognition, reputation and goodwill of the said trade mark ISKCON is no longer restricted to any particular class of goods or services.”


The Court was of the opinion that the said trademark, “ISKCON” satisfied the test and requirements of a well-known trademark as provided in sections 11(6) and 11(7) of the Trademarks Act. The suit was decreed in terms of the prayer sought by the plaintiff. Therefore, Court held that trade mark ISKCON is a well-known trade mark in India within the meaning of Section 2(1) (zg) of the Trade Marks Act, 1999.

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