The High Court Ruled that the 'Yezdi' brand name is owned by the liquidating Ideal Jawa, allowing the official liquidator to sell the brand through an auction.
Background of the case
Classic Legends was founded in 2015 and Boman Irani is one of its directors, although Boman Irani registered the trademark of "Yezdi" between 2013 and 2015.
It was contended in court that Boman Irani’s father Rustom S. Irani, who founded Ideal Jawa, owned the name 'Yezdi' and thus his son acquired the trademark after his death. Boman Irani further argued that Ideal Jawa abandoned the trademark without renewing it, so anyone could register 'Yezdi' with the trademark authority.
However, the court dismissed these claims, stating that Ideal Jawa, not Rustom Irani, owned the trademark and that Ideal Jawa had not relinquished it. The court found that Boman Irani had failed to notify the Trademark Registrar of the pending liquidation and that the Registrar had failed to do so prior to removing the trademark from Ideal Jawa's property.
The Karnataka High Court has ruled that Ideal Jawa (India) Is the owner of the trademark Yezdi both word and device, restraining its use in any form by others including entrepreneur Boman Rustom Irani and Mahindra-backed Classic Legends, the company that revived the classic motorcycle brands Jawa and Yezdi.
Judge SR Krishna Kumar ruled in his 90-page ruling on December 16 that all ideal Jawa his brands in liquidation remain in the custodia legis (custody of law) of the court.
He also said that all trademark and registration certificates issued in favor of his Boman Irani by the Mumbai, Delhi and Ahmedabad trademark registries are null and void.
The court also asked the registrar of trademarks to cancel all related registrations in the name of Boman Irani and transfer all such registrations to the company.
The court issued an injunction against Classic Legends and Boman Irani, restraining them from using the Yezdi brand. On a specific request, the court, however, kept the order in abeyance for a month for the limited purpose of enabling the aggrieved parties to file an appeal. A Classic Legends spokesperson said that the company will be appealing against the order.
"Being a director and shareholder of the company, he could not have made an independent application to appropriate to himself the trademarks of the company without obtaining the consent of the court. This is nothing but an act of misappropriation and dealing with the assets of the company which is custodia legis. The fact that Boman Irani claims to be a user since September 1, 1969 shows that he is seeking to appropriate the goodwill of the company to himself," the judge has further noted.
“Mr Irani failed to obtain a registration for 'Yezdi' during the liquidation process. Mr Irani's conduct in registering the trademark was in bad faith and constitutes misappropriation of the company's assets,” the court found. , pointed out that Ideal Jawa is undefeated. Right to the trademark by not renewing the trademark as the company is in liquidation.
The court said that Mr. Boman Irani and Classic Legends must account for and pay the ideal Jawa all profits from the use of the trademark, ``Yezdi.'' 'in any form.
The court also ordered Boman Irani and Classic Legends to pay OL his Rs 10 Lakhs fee each.