Author: Ms. Pankhuri Jain, Partner & Mr. Anmol Chawla, Associate at ZEUS Law
Published in asiancommunitynews.com on 05th January 2023
Over a period of time, the Indian legal system has evolved significantly to make India a business centric destination. One such branch of law affecting businesses is Intellectual Property Rights (“IPRs”), which are now getting due recognition and the businesses are given protection over their intellectual properties.
In a recent case in India titled “Ajinomoto Co Inc v. Dattatrey Studios & Anr.”, bearing no. CS(COMM) 822/2022, Hon’ble High Court of Delhi has temporarily restrained the release of a film by the name of “AJINOMOTO”. The Court has provided interim relief to Ajinomoto Co Inc, who claims to be the largest seasoning manufacturer in Japan, by granting a temporary injunction against infringement of its registered trademark.
The Japanese manufacturer has registered the trademark “AJI-NO-MOTO”, primarily used for Monosodium Glutamate (“MSG”) along with its other products which are manufactured and marketed globally. The Japanese manufacturer has filed a civil suit against the filmmakers who are naming their upcoming movie as “AJINOMOTO”, which is being used without the manufacturer’s authorisation.
The manufacturer was also of the view that considering the storyline of the film revolving around cooking ingredient, it is directly linked to the manufacturer. Further, any negative portrayal in a film with such wide outreach is bound to severely prejudice the manufacturer’s reputation in the Indian market.
The Hon’ble Court duly recognised the IPRs of the Japanese manufacturer over its registered trademark and granted it protection. It was held that the manufacturer would suffer irreparable loss if an ex-parte injunction was not granted and therefore, the Hon’ble Court restrained the filmmakers from releasing the film under the title “AJINOMOTO” or any other identical or deceptively similar name until the next date of hearing.