DPS Ajman Name Challenged in Brand Turf War

DPS Ajman has been ordered by the courts to stop using the DPS name, despite having permission to use the brand from original owner, Delhi Public School Society (DPS Society)
DPS Ajman Name Challenged in Brand Turf War
By David Westley
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Delhi Private School Ajman (DPS Ajman) has been ordered to change its name, despite it having the permission to use the brand from original owner, Delhi Public School Society (DPS Society), a non-profit, private educational organisation established in 1949 in India.

Ironically, the case has been brought by the DPS Schools in Dubai and Sharjah, which do not have permission from DPS Society, but have been operating the schools in the UAE for the last 15 years.

The news that Delhi Private School Ajman (DPS Ajman) had been requested to change its name was given to UAE newspaper Gulf News, by Dinesh Kothari, the managing director of the Sharjah and Dubai DPS schools. Mr Kothari revealed copies of court documents ruling that DPS Ajman must change its name following an appeal by DPS Ajman to keep its name. He told the paper:

“They [DPS Ajman] have to change their name, that is the order that has been passed and our lawyer has sent them a notice that the court has given the judgement, please change your name.

“Our name, Delhi Private School, was registered with trademark registry in UAE, with the Ministry of Economy as well as the trademark authority, so we had registered this name. Our case was limited, that please do not use this name, Delhi Private School LLC."

Unsurprisingly, DPS Ajman director Aseef Mohammad MJ told Gulf News it would be taking the legal opinion of its lawyer whether to appeal. He added that DPS Society “may be going for an appeal in the UAE Supreme Court. Definitely they will go because it [DPS] is their right actually, it’s their Intellectual Property”.

In 2000, DPS Society had given a franchisee license to DPS Sharjah and in 2002 to DPS Dubai. Those agreements had “expired” in 2017, DPS Society had said in March. However the Dubai and Sharjah schools had been registered by the local owner as a limited liability company, with the trademark authority of UAE. DPS Ras Al Khaimah has since been registered by the same owner with the Ras Al Khaimah authorities. It is under construction and set to open in April 2020, starting with a capacity of some 5,000 students up to grade eight.

The original DPS Society operates over 200 schools, around 10 outside India, including one in the UAE – DPS Ajman.

DPS Sharjah and DPS Dubai teach around 11,000 students combined.

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