Amrithdhara Pharmacy v. Satyadeo Gupta – AIR 1963 SC 449

Bench – Justice  S.K. Das, Justice Hidayatullah , Justice  J.C. Shah

The case primarily dealt with the marks ‘Amrithdhara’ and ‘Lakshmandhara’ for medicinal preparations.  The respondent who had applied for the trademark ‘Lakshmandhara’  had been in the business since 1923. The appellant had the registered trademark ‘Amrithdhara’ and was in the business of production of a similar medicinal product since 1901. The appellant submitted that the mark of the Respondent is likely to deceive and cause confusion among the public. The respondent  contended that the mark should be allowed to be registered in light of honest and concurrent use in Section 12 of the Trademarks Act, 1999 and also in consideration of the fact that the sale of such medicinal products by the respondent was restricted to Uttar Pradesh primarily. The registrar of Trademarks held that the marks indeed cause confusion among the general public. However, considering the acquiescence on the part of the appellant and giving due regard to the honest and concurrent use on behalf of the respondent, the registrar allowed the registration of the trademark with a restriction on sale only in Uttar Pradesh. The Allahabad High Court held that the mark should be allowed to be used in the entire country and that the terms Amrit and Dhara were terms of common parlance and exclusive right to use cannot be given to any party. The Supreme Court reversed the decision and upheld the observations of the Registrar of Trademarks. The rationale was that the marks cannot be examined as parts and the mark should be read as a whole.