Decathlon Sports India has gone on to file a trademark infringement suit against Pentathlon Sports, which is NCR based. It claimed that its legal action is aimed at Pentathlon Sports for “illegal and mala fide acts of inter alia of infringement of the registered trademark of the Plaintiff No I (Decathlon), selling substandard products in the market and passing them off as goods/ products of the Plaintiffs (Decathlon).”
It was further alleged by Decathlon that Pentathlon has copied their trademarked tagline as well, Sports for All/ All for Sports. Decathlon is a France based company that has over 70 stores in India. It substantiated its claim with the following five points:
- Same colour scheme and font has been used by Pentathlon for its trademark as Decathlon.
- Pentathlon italicises the same letter in its name just as Decathlon.
- Tagline of Pentathlon, ‘‘Sports for Everyone and Everyone for Sports’ is the same as Decathlon’s ‘Sports For All / All For Sports.’
- The uncanny resemblance between the concept of Pentathlon as a name can be called identical as of Decathlon.
- Decathlon Sports India has also claimed how Pentathlon Sports having three retail stores in the NCR region has caused them “irreparable loss.”
All of the above stated claims have been disregarded by Vijay Kumar Rana, the Founder of Pentathlon Sports India. He said that their colour scheme and font isn’t same as Decathlon’s.
On the point of italicisation of the letter ‘A’ in both Pentathlon and Decathlon trademarks, he countered by saying Decathlon has both ‘C’ and ‘A’ as cursive and is combined, on the other hand, Pentathlon only has ‘A’ in cursive. Rana also highlighted the tennis ball iconography in Pentathlon’s logo in place for ‘O’ as the differentiating feature of his logo, which sets it apart from Decathlon’s.
About the allegation of a similar tagline, Rana said that it was sufficiently differentiated from that of Decathlon’s due to the use of ‘Everyone’ instead of ‘All.’ However, Decathlon had claimed the contrary by saying that it is “deceptively similar to registered trademarks DECATHLON and 'DECATHLON Sport for All / All for Sport which is also the tagline of the Plaintiff No. I (Decathlon) with the intent of creating a subtle yet deliberate association with the goodwill subsisting in the trademarks belonging to the Plaintiff No 1”.
It was also claimed by Decathlon that, “Defendant (Pentathlon) is clearly banking on the reputation of the Plaintiff No.1 (Decathlon) to pass off its sub-standard and inferior goods as those of the Plaintiff No.1 (Decathlon).” However, Rana countered the same by pointing out how Pentathlon sells products of various brands such as, Yonex, Wilson, Head, Nike and Indian ones such as Cosco and Nivea, along with its own branded cricket accessories. The main idea behind his brand was to bring different sporting brands under one roof. They had worked on it for 4 years. Therefore, this is clearly different from Decathlon, which only sells its own branded items.
He further said there no compromise could be done on the name of his brand. “There is no meaning in compromising with Decathlon on our brand, our brand Pentathlon is under the registration process with the registrar of trademark”.
Decathlon in a statement, said, “Given this is a case of IP violation, we have taken appropriate legal remedial measures. As the matter is currently sub-judice, we are unable to provide any further details at this stage.” The matter is due to be heard at the District Court, Ghaziabad later this month.