HC crushes monopoly tussle over ‘Chur Chur Naan’

Outside Kashmir Sweet Shop at Paharganj, which is famous for Chur Chur Naan.

Outside Kashmir Sweet Shop at Paharganj, which is famous for Chur Chur Naan.   | Photo Credit: SHIV KUMAR PUSHPAKAR

Adjudicates against Paharganj-based eatery’s claim to exclusive rights, calls it a generic term

There cannot be any monopoly on the terms ‘Chur Chur Naan’ and ‘Amritsari Chur Chur Naan’ as the same are generic, the Delhi High Court has observed.

Justice Prathiba M. Singh made the observation while adjudicating plea of a Paharganj-based eatery outlet claiming exclusive rights in the expression “Chur Chur Naan” against a rival food outlet in the area which uses a similar expression for its name.

Justice Singh said the expressions — Naan, Chur Chur Naan, Amritsari Chur Chur Naan — are similar to expressions such as Amritsari Kulcha, Malabar Parantha, Hyderabadi Biryani, Kashmiri Dum Aloo, Chettinad Chicken, Murthal ke Paranthe, Mangalore idli, etc., and such other food products which are used in common parlance by the general public. “The word ‘Chur Chur’ merely means ‘crushed’ and ‘Chur Chur Naan’ means ‘crushed naan’ and nothing more. It is incapable of acquiring trademark signification,” Justice Singh noted.

She further highlighted that ‘Chur Chur’ is a terminology which is used in normal conversational language and there cannot be any monopoly.

Trademark registration

The owner of the eatery however pointed out that it has obtained registration of various trademarks, including that of ‘Chur Chur Naan’ and ‘Amritsari Chur Chur Naan’. It said the eatery has been covered on television channels as ‘Paharganj Ke Mashoor Chur Chur Naan’.

Justice Singh remarked that “the rights of a registered trademark holder are not absolute” as they are subject to the exceptions.

Even if the owner has obtained registration it would not in any manner prevent the bona fide description of the character of the naan which is crushed i.e. ‘Chur Chur Naan’, the judge said.

The HC was informed that several other entities are distinguishing themselves from each other by using prefixes which are distinctive in nature for example ‘Sanjay Chur Chur Naan, Vijay Chur Chur Naan, N.S. Chur Chur Naan, Chawla de Mashoor Chur Chur Naan’.

Following this, the defendant eatery outlet agreed to change the name of their outlets to ‘Paharganj Seth Ke Mashoor Chur Chur Naan’ and ‘Paharganj Seth Ke Mashoor Amritsari Naan’.

The HC directed food delivery app, Swiggy, to submit the names of the outlets listed on its platform using ‘Chur Chur Naan’ and ‘Amritsari Chur Chur Naan’. It has listed the case for further hearing in September.

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Printable version | May 28, 2020 2:45:05 PM |

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