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Battle Over Butter Chicken: Moti Mahal Takes Daryaganj to Court in Trademark Showdown

By Jhanak Singh      28 May, 2024 11:33 AM      0 Comments
Battle Over Butter Chicken Moti Mahal Takes Daryaganj to Court in Trademark Showdown

New Delhi: The dispute over the invention of Butter Chicken and Dal Makhani intensified as Moti Mahal restaurant filed a plea before the Delhi High Court to cancel the Daryaganj restaurant chain’s trademark [Rupa Gujral & Ors v Raghav Jaggi].

Justice Anish Dayal issued a notice on the applications moved by Moti Mahal. The Court stated that Justice Sanjeev Narula will hear the case in July, as he is already overseeing Moti Mahal’s suit to prevent Daryaganj from claiming it invented Butter Chicken and Dal Makhani.

Moti Mahal challenges the registration of the trademark “DARYAGANJ: BY THE INVENTORS OF BUTTER CHICKEN & DAL MAKHANI,” granted to Daryaganj on March 14, 2018, on a ‘proposed to be used’ basis. Moti Mahal asserts they have used the tagline “Inventors of Original Dal Makhani, Tandoori Chicken & Butter Chicken” since 2005, arguing that Daryaganj's trademark is a false claim.

“The Mark is virtually identical to the petitioners’ earlier, well-known tagline, with just the addition of the word ‘DARYAGANJ’ above, which is in no way distinctive and does not extinguish itself from the petitioners’ earlier, well-known tagline, which has been coined and used exclusively by the petitioners since 2005 and the petitioners continue to use even as on date,” the suit argued.

In April 2023, Moti Mahal applied for registration of a device mark claiming to be the original inventors of Dal Makhani, Butter Chicken, and Tandoori Chicken, which is pending before the trademark registry. The suit was filed through advocates Shreya Sethi and Anirudh Bhatia, with Senior Advocate Chander M Lall arguing for Moti Mahal. Advocate Pravin Anand represented Daryaganj.

Moti Mahal has also filed a separate civil suit against Daryaganj over the use of the tagline “Inventors of Butter Chicken and Dal Makhani.” Filed in January 2024, Moti Mahal claims Daryaganj is misleading people into believing there is a connection between the two, given that Moti Mahal’s first branch was opened in the Daryaganj neighborhood of Delhi.

Daryaganj argues they have not engaged in false representation, stating that the first Moti Mahal restaurant was jointly established by the predecessors of both parties (Gujral of Moti Mahal and Jaggi of Daryaganj) in Peshawar.

This case is listed for hearing before Justice Narula on May 29. 



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