22 Aug 2007, 1052 hrs IST, PTI
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has refused to stay a Madras High Court order that allowed Chanda Softy Ice Cream to use trademarks 'Galaxy' and 'Milky Way', allegedly owned by a multinational confectioner - Mars Incorporated.
A bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan, while refusing to restrain the domestic ice-cream maker from using the trademarks, directed the High Court to dispose of the matter within three months.
Mars' counsel Mukul Rohtagi contended the multinational was planning to launch ice creams under the trademark 'Milky Way' and its use by "the respondent is surely to cause confusion and deception in the minds of general public especially children and is therfore against public interest."
According to the petition filed by the MNC, the net effect of the impugned order was that Chanda, which had been restrained for the last seven years from using the trademarks, would again be entitled to use them, causing irreparable damage and loss of goodwill.
Mars submitted that it had adopted 'Milky Way' for chocolates as early as in 1923 and the trademark is registered in more than 160 countries all over the world, including the Gulf countries, the UK and the US.
However, Chanda in its affidavit before the High Court had contended that it was manufacturing ice creams since 1994 without any brand name and was running the parlour under the trade name 'Milky Way Galaxy of Ice Creams.'
THE TIMES OF INDIA