BMW or Bayerische Motoren Werke has been in the automobile industry since the early 1920s. The German brand is very popular for high-end cars and motorcycles around the world. The BMW is a premium brand and often manufacturers try to intimate the name to sound similar to the popular German brand and gain popularity. DMW is one such name that has been operating in India since 2013 and is selling electric rickshaws for a long time now. BMW has sued the Indian brand for sounding too familiar.
The case was filed in 2017, four years after the Om Balajee Automobile (India) Private Limited registered the name. In a recent hearing, the Delhi High Court has restrained the Indian electric rickshaw manufacturer from dealing with goods of any manner that bear the ‘DMW’ mark. The court said that the name is deceptively similar to the name of the German brand.
Justice Jayant Nath passed an interim order and said that prima facie BMW has made out a case that Om Balajee is infringing upon its trademark with “dishonest intention” to take the advantage and good of the German company.
The court rejected the stand of the Indian manufacturer – Om Balajee Automobile (India) Private Limited that said that they have the ‘DMW’ trademark since 2013 and BMW approached the court after a delay of four years.
The court said in the ruling,
“Even if there was a delay on the part of the plaintiff (BMW) in the filing of the present suit as has been claimed by the defendant (Om Balajee), the same delay would not be sufficient to deter grant of injunction in favour of the plaintiff. It is likely to mislead an average man of ordinary intelligence. Such use by the defendant is detrimental to the reputation of the registered mark BMW of the plaintiff company. The defendant is prima facie guilty of infringement of the trademark of the petitioner. An ad interim injunction is passed restraining the defendants, its officers, agents etc. from manufacturing, exporting, importing or offering for sale, advertising or in any manner dealing with goods not limited to e-rickshaws bearing the mark DMW or any other mark which are identical or deceptively similar to the plaintiff’s BMW marks.”
BMW said in the court that it has assembly plants in 14 countries and a global network sales in more than 140 countries around the world. The brand has revenue of 94,163 million Euro in 2016 and DMW is using the phonetically similar name to take undue advantage.
BMW is present in India for a long time now and sells high-end luxury cars and motorcycles in the market. They recently launched all-new affordable two-wheelers after getting into partnership with TVS. The manufacturer has an extremely good brand recognition around the world.