Lawstreet Journal

Common Words Like ‘Magic’ and ‘Masala’ Cannot Be Monopolized: Madras HC to ITC

Lawstreet Journal 23 Jun 2020 6:00pm

Image courtesy: Lawstreet Journal Judiciary Common Words Like ‘Magic’ and ‘Masala’ Cannot Be Monopolized: Madras HC to ITC

The Madras High Court dismissed a seven-year-old suit filed by ITC Limited against Nestle India in which ITC objected over the use of the words “Magical Masala” by the latter, for their noodles product, as it was similar to the expression “Magic Masala” used by the former for their product.

The plaintiff, ITC, argued that the term ‘Magic Masala’ was used by them for their product ‘Sunfeast Yippiee!’ that was launched in 2010. In 2013, however, Nestle launched its instant noodles product with a similar expression ‘Maggixtra – delicious Magical Masala’ and this led to a dispute between the two FMGC giants.

While Nestle’s brand had been the market leader with a 75-80 percent market share in the segment it was threatened by the rival brand, ITC alleged. It probably adopted the similarly sounded expression to create confusion in the minds of the customers and pass off its brand to the customer instead of the Yippiee! brand, it added.

ITC claimed that by using the word ‘Magic’, which is similar to the word used by it, Nestle is liable for passing-off and it sought a permanent prohibitory injunction against Nestle. On the other side, Nestle argued that ‘Magic’ is a laudatory word and monopoly could not be claimed over the same. It also said that the expressions used by both the companies are flavor descriptors only and hence cannot be protected.

The case was heard by a single bench of Justice C. Saravanan. He observed that the terms ‘Magic’ and ‘Masala’ are common words… Continue Reading...

Tagged: ITC Limited   Nestle India  
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