Accenture Global Services Limited filed a plaint alleging trademark infringement, trademark dilution, unfair competition and passing off, in the Commercial High Court of the Western Province in Colombo on 31st October 2017.
Accenture, the plaintiff, a well known global management consultancy, technology services and outsourcing company is one of the world’s largest consulting firms.
It states that it pioneered systems integration and business integration and has established itself as a leader in today’s global marketplace. It has a significant business presence in Sri Lanka through its local affiliate Accenture Lanka (Pvt) Ltd.
Accenture claims that a similar company, Ascenture Systems Limited, which is engaged in software development services, software solutions and enterprise resource planning solutions in the clothing industry, is using a trademark and name identical to that of ‘Accenture’.
Accenture which is represented by Manoj Bandara with Dhanushka Dissanayake instructed by Sudath Perera Associates claimed that the defendant’s company, Ascenture Systems, intentionally and deliberately adopted a similar trademark and name of Accenture by changing only one letter to ‘Ascenture’ with the purpose of trading on the good will and reputation of its world-renowned mark.
In addition, the global company stated, “customers are likely to be deceived and confused into believing that the defendant and its products and services and business have some connection associated or affiliation with the plaintiff, when there is no such connection whatsoever.” The use of ‘Ascenture’ would further give them an unfair advantage and cause damage to the plaintiff by way of loss of reputation and goodwill and dilution of their internationally acclaimed and recognized trade mark ‘Accenture’.
Accenture has applied for a court order that would declare that the defendant’s trademark constitutes an infringement of plaintiff’s rights as owners of the tradename ‘Accenture’ and any use of ‘Ascenture’ would be unlawful and unfair competition against the plaintiff.
They further requested that the court issue a permanent injunction restraining the defendants from further use of the infringing mark as well as a decree for damages. Accordingly, the plaintiff supported for a notice of an interim injunction together with summons. Having satisfied the submissions of the Counsel for the plaintiff, the Court issued notice of the interim injunction together with summons, returnable on the 5th of December of 2017.
It was disclosed that there has been a number of successful actions against other companies in Sri Lanka as well as India, by the global company Accenture, with the similar trade name that has been successfully concluded.