The court also restrained the trust from using the term DPS for promoting its education-related services.
"A decree for perpetual injunction with costs is hereby passed restraining the defendant (DPS Trust) from using the registered logo, registered trade mark 'DPS' as well as the name Delhi Public School of plaintiff Society (DPS Society) for running a school or providing education-related services," Justice V K Jain said in an ex-parte judgement as the erring trust did not contest the civil suit.
The verdict came on the plea of DPS Society, which runs 11 core schools besides 118 others under franchisee agreements in India and outside, alleging that DPS Trust has been infringing the 'DPS' trademark and the logo "deceptively."
Justice Jain, who restrained the erring trust from "offering or promoting" its educational activities by using DPS trademark, also said, "I, therefore, pass a decree for recovery of Rs 10 lakh as punitive damages in favour of the plaintiff and against the defendant."
"The defendant is running a school using the highly reputed brand name of 'Delhi Public School'. As noted earlier, use of the name 'Delhi Public School', the word mark 'DPS' and the logo of the plaintiff is dishonest, actuated with greed to en-cash upon the brand equity which these names enjoy amongst the parents in this country...," the court said while allowing the plea of the DPS Society against the trust which did not put an appearance to contest the civil suit.
The court said that the award of "punitive" damages was necessary to curb "dishonest" tendencies as it would lead to a situation where "innocent parents are not trapped into admitting their wards in schools such as the school being run by the defendant."
"On account of dishonest use of the trademark and logo of the plaintiff by the defendant, some innocent and gullible parents may admit their wards in the schools being run by the defendants and pay high fees and other charges which they would not pay for admission in an obscure school, under a mistaken belief that their child is studying in one of the schools being run by the plaintiff," it said, adding the parents leave "no stone unturned" for getting their wards admitted in such schools.
It was alleged the trust has been "creating confusion in the minds of general public" by using 'DPS' trademark and "trying to ride upon the goodwill and reputation of the plaintiff with ulterior motive and malafide intentions".