‘Arthur Andersen’ loses legal battle in India

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A French firm that claimed the Arthur Andersen name has lost a legal ruling in India against Andersen Tax, a few weeks after another setback in the U.S.

Andersen Tax, which has been suing the French firm over the rights to the Andersen name, announced Wednesday that the High Court of Judicature in Bombay, India has ruled against the French firm and another firm in India for illegally infringing on its trademark rights. Andersen Tax was established by a group of former Andersen partners after acquiring the rights to the brand worldwide and changing its name from WTAS in 2014.

The court ruled in favor of Andersen Tax on April 28 against International Business Associates, imposing a permanent injunction restricting IBA from “Andersen,” “Arthur Andersen” and similar trademarks to promote its professional services consultancy.

The court in India also handed down a preliminary injunction against the French firm, formerly known as “Quatre Juillet Maison Blanche,” (French for Fourth of July White House) which has been calling itself Arthur Andersen & Co. The court has temporarily prohibited it from using the trademarks “Andersen” and “Arthur Andersen” to promote its consulting services in India. IBA had aligned itself with the French firm as an affiliate member of its network in India

This is the second legal setback in recent weeks against the French firm. Last month, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California issued a consent-injunction prohibiting its U.S-affiliate, MoHala Enterprises, which was doing business as Sundial Consulting, from using the terms “Andersen” or “Arthur Andersen” in the U.S. (see ‘Reconstituted’ Arthur Andersen closes U.S. offices amid trademark infringement suit).

“Andersen Tax will enforce its legal rights vigorously around the world to protect its ownership of the Andersen name,” said Andersen Tax CEO and managing director Mark Vorstaz in a statement. His firm has multiple trademark filings with the name “Andersen” for tax and legal services in 95 countries and filed suit last month against International Business Associates.

Stéphane Laffont-Réveilhac, global managing of the new Arthur Andersen, along with an Andersen spokesperson, did not respond to requests for comment.

In March, Laffont-Réveilhac announced he had “reconstituted” the former Big Five firm in 16 countries, including the United States, with offices in Chicago, Houston, New York and San Francisco, but his claims were quickly challenged by Andersen Tax (see Firms vie over rights to Arthur Andersen name). The original Arthur Andersen and Andersen Worldwide collapsed in the wake of the Enron and WorldCom accounting scandals of the early 2000s.

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