US based companies National Insurance and Indemnity Corporation & Greyhound Lines, Inc. (National & Greyhound) provide premium brand of public transport bus services across United States, Canada, and Mexico between various cities including several major cities in the USA.
National & Greyhound are registered owners of the trademark “BOLTBUS” which was adopted in the year 2007 and registered in the USA in 2008. Thereafter, in 2016 the mark was registered on ‘proposed to be used’ basis in India by National in Class 39 in respect of transportation of passengers by bus. National has also acquired a Copyright registration in the artistic work in India.
The mark “BOLTBUS” was transferred and assigned by Greyhound to National vide an Assignment Deed in 2010. Together they also own the domain name which was registered in the year 2007.
The distinctive features of the busses and logo are:
(i) The buses are black and red in colour i.e., black covering front and red covering the remaining part of bus;
(ii) The registered Mark i.e., BOLTBUS has a stylized representation with the term ‘BOLT’ in solid white and the suffix ‘BUS’ in white outline, all in the similar font on the sides of the bus;
(iii) A ‘lightning bolt’ is uniquely placed right at the front door of the bus, drawn from bottom to the top of the bus;
(iv) The ‘lightning bolt’ can also be found drawn within the letter ‘O’ on the sides of the bus as well as imprinted on the front hood of the buses.
Source – Judgement
*We do not claim any copyright in the above image. The same has been reproduced for academic and representational purposes only.
In 2015, National came across certain websites namely, and owned by M/s Virat Travels, based in Delhi and M/s The Bullet Bus, (infringers) Rajasthan which were identical to their own registered domain name. Upon having conducted further enquires, National realised that the two domain names were registered by the infringers, in order to provide services identical to that of National.
National thereafter issued a cease and desist notice to the infringers however, there was no reply and hence National sent a second notice to which the infringers replied stating that the marks were used in different geographical locations and that there was no possibility of any confusion amongst the consumers since National and Greyhound, operated in foreign countries and did not provide any public transportation services in India, thereby having accrued no goodwill or reputation in India. The Infringers further countered that, the marks were visually different from each other since they were using an extra ‘T’ in their mark “BOLTTBUS”.
Source – Judgement
*We do not claim any copyright in the above image. The same has been reproduced for academic and representational purposes only.
In spite of the foregoing, the infringers stated that they were willing to settle the dispute amicably for once and for all. They also proposed to change the mark from “BOLTTBUS” to “VOLTBUS” as ‘VOL’ stood for VOLVO (being the maker of the Bus), ‘T’ implied to TRANSPORT. Further they also proposed to discuss regarding changing the style and the font of the mark.
However, the proposal was not acceptable to National and hence the infringers changed from the mark “BOLTTBUS” to “BULLETBUS” but with the logo on red coloured buses, similar to that of National.
Source – Judgement
*We do not claim any copyright in the above images. The same have been reproduced for academic and representational purposes only.
Hence, National and Greyhound approached the Delhi High Court seeking, inter alia, a permanent injunction as well as damages worth Rs.2 crores. National and Greyhound submitted that the infringers were not only infringing their mark but also wrongly portraying their association and/or connection with National and Greyhound to the public.
The infringers failed to appear before the Court and hence the Court observed that not only the infringers deliberately chose to not appear before the Court but perusal of the evidence placed on record revealed that the adoption of the impugned mark by the infringers was completely dishonest and mala fide. The Court further observed that the infringers had knowledge of National’s grievances against them, since 2015 however not only they copied National’s registered mark ‘BOLTBUS’ but also the logo, the writing style and the trade dress of the buses itself.
The Court further observed that, National and Greyhound enjoy an enormous goodwill and reputation in the USA, Canada and other countries where they are operating and the nature of their service is such that the tourists from India are bound to have seen or availed of their bus services.
Hence the Court held that, “Such blatant infringement of the mark, even though belonging to a foreign proprietor, cannot be condoned, especially when the Court is convinced that the same has been adopted with a dishonest and mala fide intention.” and permanently restrained the infringers from using the marks “BOLTBUS” or “BOLTTBUS” in respect of bus services, in any logo, stylization or artistic form, identical to that of National. The Court also awarded costs of the suit to the tune of INR 12, 85, 000/- to National and Grey Hound.
The Court further made it clear that, if the infringers wished to use the mark “BULLETBUS”, they shall only be permitted to do so if the logo, writing style, artistic form and colour combination of the mark was completely different.


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