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SC allows Paul John to sell its IMFL under the brand "Original Choice" freely
Saturday, March 14, 2009 08:00 IST
Our Bureau, Mumbai

Allied Blenders & Distillers' plea was dismissed by the Supreme Court bench and the Delhi High Court ruling that permitted Karnataka-based Paul P John to sell India-made foreign liquor under "Original Choice" label was sustained, according to a PTI report.

Allied Blenders & Distillers Pvt. Ltd that sells its whisky under the label Officer's Choice had filed a petition in the SC for stopping its rival from using the 'Original Choice' label.

A bench headed by Justice S B Sinha, has upheld the Delhi High Court ruling that allowed Karnataka-based Paul P John to sell India-made foreign liquor under 'Original Choice' label.

According to ABDL's senior counsel Harish Salve, Paul had admitted to prior use of the appellant's product for more than 10 years before bringing its brand in the market.

He further added that Paul has failed to provide a legible basis as to the choice of the name Original Choice, which was apparently similar to the 'Officers Choice' mark.

As per the ABDL statement, the HC played a contradictory role by refraining to comment on whether Original Choice was deceptively similar to 'Officer's Choice' and at the same time analysing the issue obscurely with its finding prejudicing its case against ABDL.

While permitting Paul P John to sell whisky under the brand name Original Choice the High Court had instructed it to maintain accounts in respect of the sales made.

The High Court had favoured Paul on the ground that it was in ABDL's full awareness that Paul was marketing whisky under 'Original Choice' label since 1995 and even the labels did not come out to be as "misleading" the consumers.

ABDL was granted registration of the mark with a disclaimer that it would not have any exclusive right to use the word 'Choice'. Paul had also got its mark Original Choice registered in 2007, the same period when ABDL got it registered.

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