The Karnataka HC has said under Justice S R Krishna Kumar in The Official Liquidator of M/s Ideal (India) Limited (In Liquidation) v. Registrar of Trade marks & Others.(C.A. No. 71/2018) Ideal Jawa (India) Ltd is the owner of the mark “Yezdi” (word and device) taken independently or in conjunction with other words and the trademarks of the Company (in liquidation) remain in custodia legis of the court as they were owned by the company prior to the time of its winding up.
The company ideal Jawa(India) Ltd. Was incorporated on 22.09.1960. The company got the registration mark ‘Yezdi’ on 09.10.1969. The use was claimed since 01.01.1969. A company petitition was filed on 25.07.1991 for winding up the company. The company was wound up on 17.08.2001 the official liquidator took over the company and oversee the winding process.
On 01.08.1998 Mr Irani registered a website called www.yezdi.com, the trademark registry removed the yezdi mark on 05.10.2007. In the years 2013 and 2014 Mr Irani filed applications for registration of certain marks both word and device of “Yezdi’ before the TM offices at Delhi, Mumbai and Ahmedabad which came to be allowed. The whole issues before the court was of ownership of the mark and if the company continues to exercise ownership rights can any other person appropriate the said marks to himself by the process of registration of the mark with the Trademark registry.
On the date of winding up of order, there was no other person who had made a claim to the trademark. The court immediately rejected the argument of Irani that his father adopted the trademark and after his demise and the same was transferred to him as legal heir. It was decided that the company’s assets, including its trademarks, are in custodia legis and that any disposition of the property would be null and void. Any disposition of the company’s property after the petition for winding up was filed would be invalid under section 536 (2) of the Companies Act, unless the court makes an exception. The determination of the assets of the company is within the province of the Company court. The trademarks are the assets of the company if a person seeks to deal with the assets of the company, it comes under the jurisdiction of the Company Court.
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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY VAISHNAVI SINGH