From left: Maqsood Ali Khan, Director RK Holdings & KK Educational Trust, Shunglu and Dr. P.A. Ebrahim Haji, Chairman Pace Group and & Co-Chairman, Malabar Gold & Diamonds during the press conference of DPS schools franchisee in the region in Dubai Image Credit: Arshad Ali/Gulf News

Dubai: The chairman of Delhi Public School Society (DPS Society) on Tuesday said in Dubai that no school in the UAE, or elsewhere, should be allowed to use the short-form “DPS” without its permission.

V K Shunglu, speaking at a press conference, said the acronym “DPS” is “the property only of DPS Society registered in India”. He clarified that Delhi Private School Ajman “is the only institution in the UAE affiliated to the DPS Society”.

DPS Society had in 2000 given a franchisee license to Delhi Private School Sharjah, also known as DPS Sharjah, and Delhi Private School Dubai, also known as DPS Dubai, in 2002.

These agreements had “expired” in 2017, DPS Society said in a statement on Tuesday.

UAE trademark registration for 'DPS'

However, DPS Sharjah and DPS Dubai are under the Delhi Private School trade name registered with the trademark authority of the UAE, Dinesh Kothari, managing director of DPS Sharjah and Dubai, told Gulf News on Tuesday.

At the press conference, Shunglu said an Ajman court is currently “adjudicating on this issue … whether registration creates any right or not”.

Shunglu added: “Our legal position is that Intellectual Property of the name ‘DPS’, the symbols associated with DPS, and the acronym and anything suggestive of DPS, is the property only of DPS Society registered in India. It is not the property of anybody else and our position is that mere registration creates no right.”

DPS Society is a non-profit, private educational organisation established in 1949 in India. It currently operates a total of 214 schools — 203 schools in India and 11 schools outside India, including one in the UAE. Around 500,000 students attend DPS schools in total.

When asked if disagreement over the franchisee license fees was the reason the franchisee license with DPS Sharjah and Dubai was not renewed, Shunglu said “it is not a question of money, that is not the dispute … but if a school says the neutralisation of inflation should not be there, or the same fees from 20 years ago should be there, that is also not possible”.

Shunglu added that DPS Society’s franchisee license-holding schools “must follow our educational system”.

What DPS Sharjah and Dubai say?

Speaking to Gulf News about Tuesday’s press conference by Delhi Public School Society in Dubai, Dinesh Kothari, managing director of Delhi Private School Sharjah and Delhi Private School Dubai, told Gulf News on Tuesday that “we use a different name, we are a different name” than Delhi Public School.

“Our identity is a limited liability company in the UAE and this trade name is registered with the trademark authority of UAE for last 15 years … That name I’ve got independently,” Kothari said.

Kothari said: “The fees proposed was almost six times what we were paying. From a fixed fee, the society wanted to change it to per-student fee of almost $40 (around Dh146) and obviously this burden would have fallen on the parents, and I cannot put pressure on them”.

DPS Sharjah and Dubai schools have a total of around 11,000 students.

Kothari said since the agreement’s expiry in March 2017, “negotiations went on, for as recent as three months ago, when I had another discussion with them, saying why not we make the franchise fees uniform for all the schools in GCC”.

Kothari added that “we had offered to double our fixed fees to DPS Society”.