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Ajman: Delhi Private School Ajman (DPS Ajman), whose name is contested, should change its name following a court ruling, the managing director of DPS schools in Sharjah and Dubai told Gulf News.

Dinesh Kothari, showing copies of court documents, said an Ajman court recently ruled that DPS Ajman must change its name. It follows an appeal by DPS Ajman to keep its name, which has been dismissed, Kothari said.

However, DPS Ajman director Aseef Mohammad MJ told Gulf News: “We will take the legal opinion of our lawyer and then we will decide accordingly, as per the UAE law and court decision, what we will do. But for the time being, it can be appealed, as far as my knowledge.”

Background context

DPS Ajman, an Indian school teaching some 1,000 students, is affiliated to Delhi Public School Society (DPS Society), a non-profit, private educational organisation established in 1949 in India. It operates over 200 schools, around 10 outside India, including one in the UAE – DPS Ajman.

In March, DPS Society chairman V K Shunglu had said at a press conference in Dubai that no school in the UAE, or elsewhere, should be allowed to use the short-form “DPS” without its permission.

Separate entity

However, Kothari said “Delhi Private School” (also DPS in short-form) is a separate entity registered with the trademark authority of UAE for the last 15 years.

Kothari, who also runs DPS Dubai, added: “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.

“So we had no other case and the court has passed the judgement. They [DPS Ajman] had went into appeal, and court has now dismissed their appeal, and basically said the original judgment will stay, which says that only we can use this name.”

Kothari said: “They [DPS Ajman] have to follow the court order. DPS Society had also joined hands in saying that ‘we [DPS Society] gave them this name’, but court has rejected that and dismissed all those grounds.”

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Further appeal?

However, MJ said 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.

Kothari had also then said: “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.”

Both DPS Sharjah and DPS Dubai are Indian curriculum schools, in total teaching around 11,000 students.

Kothari said a third school, DPS Ras Al Khaimah, “is registered” with 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.