Champagne, Puma, Darjeeling Tea and Ford are known all over the world. A common man would recognize the given names as famous brands. On looking closely it can be realized that the above mentioned names do not belong to the same category.
The Tea Board of India holds the famous GI “Darjeeling” and the logo of a woman holding tea leaves, as well as the certification trade mark “Darjeeling” under the Trade Marks Act, in connection with “tea”.
ITC, Limited used “Darjeeling Lounge” as the name for its executive lounge at its Kolkata hotel, the ITC Sonar.
The Tea Board had previously filed a suit against ITC for using the word Darjeeling for their lounge. The suit mainly revolved on issues of infringement of the GI and the certification TMs, as well as for passing off and dilution.
The matter was rejected by the one judge bench, due to which an appeal was made before the Division bench of the Kolkata high court.
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