The appeal filed by Gautam Gambhir against Delhi pub owner D.A.P & Co & Anr was listed before the division bench of the Delhi High Court. The appeal was filed by Gautam Gambhir against the single bench order which had dismissed the cricketer’s plea by order dated December 13, 2017 [read order here]. The Division bench has issued notice to DAP and Co which runs two pubs — Ghungroo and Hawalat — in Punjabi Bagh area of west Delhi. Gambhir’s plea is to restrain the defendants from using the name ‘Gautam Gambhir’ in the tagline while running their restaurants. The restro-bar chain had contended before the single judge that the tagline ‘by Gautam Gambhir’ was used in connection with the pubs as it was also the owner’s name.
The Single bench while dismissing the order had held as under:
“In the instant case, this Court finds no sound reasons to grant the restraint order. Celebrity status of the plaintiff is not disputed. However, there is no material on record to infer if any time in running the said restaurants with the tagline ‘by Gautam Gambhir’, the defendant ever represented to the public at large in any manner that the said restaurants were owned by the plaintiff or he was associated with them in any manner. The defendant is running at present four restaurants which were opened at different stages. One restaurant was opened in 2014 and no steps, whatsoever, were taken by the plaintiff that time to seek restraint order; the present suit was filed only in May, 2017. First restaurant’s success motivated him to open three other restaurants in subsequent years. It is not in dispute that the defendant is known by his name ‘Gautam Gambhir’. The said restaurants are owned by him. Apparently, he is entitled to carry on ‘his’ business in ‘his’ ‘own’ name. The law is that no one is entitled to carry on his business in such a way as to represent that it is the business of another, or is in any way connected with the business of another. Of course, an individual is entitled to carry on his business in his ‘own’ name so long as he does not do anything more to cause confusion with the business of another and if he does so honestly/bonafide. In the instant case, the plaintiff is not associated with the restaurant business. Nothing has come on record if any time, the plaintiff was invited for any inauguration or function of the restaurants in question. No overt act has been attributed to the defendant whereby he at any time attempted to make representation to any individual or the public at large that the restaurants were owned by the plaintiff. The plaintiff has given only one instance of an individual who had some confusion with the said restaurants to be owned by the plaintiff. No ‘disclaimer’ was ever issued by the plaintiff to dispel the so-called confusion in the public who recognized the plaintiff only to be associated with Cricket. The said restaurants are being run by the defendant after getting necessary permission from the authorities. When the logo ‘Hawalat Lounge and Bar by Gautam Gambhir’ was registered by the Trademarks Registry in Class 43, under No.3436616 on 20.12.2016 in respect of restaurant service, there was no objection before the Trademark Registry. It is categorically claimed by the defendant that inside or outside the restaurants, he had never displayed any picture/photo / poster of the plaintiff to cause confusion in the public. In all the webpages/online platforms i.e. facebook, WhatsApp, etc. and at all his displays otherwise, viz. stationery, wall pictures, merchandises, etc. the defendant has very prominently put numerous of his ‘own’ pictures to associate his ‘own’ identity with his ‘own’ restaurant business. Apparently, plaintiff’s name was not commercialized by the defendant. Nothing has emerged on record if there was any loss to the goodwill of the plaintiff in his field i.e. Cricket because of running of the restaurants by the defendant with the tag line in his ‘own’ name.”
Image source: here