Recently in a trademark infringement case between Hermès International & Anr. v. Crimzon Fashion Accessories Private Limited, the Delhi High Court ruled that the “H” mark of the French Luxury brand Hermès International is a well-known mark. The Court considered the issue of well-known status after passing an order of permanent injunction against Crimzon for infringing use of the mark on its website.
Facts of the Case
Hermès International, alleging trademark infringement, filed a suit in Delhi High Court, against Crimzon Fashion Accessories Private Limited for using a deceptively similar mark. Hermès’ filed an application for a permanent injunction against Crimzon, for the infringing listings on its website using Hermès’ “H” mark, and for a grant of well-known status. Hermès submitted that they are a well-known brand with stores set up in Mumbai and Delhi where the products of the plaintiff are displayed with their infamous “H” mark. Emphasizing on the separate catalogues created for their respective stores, and several articles and magazines, like Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, etc., Hermès evidenced the reputation and recognition of the “H” mark in India. Hermès also pleaded trans-border recognition, since the inception of the “H” in 1997, used and recognized across the globe for goods ranging from Oran Sandals to Legend Sandals.
Considerations by the Court
The Court considered the presence of stores in Delhi and Mumbai, along with the reviews, recognition, and accolades received by Hermès for the “H” mark. The Court considered Hermès’ argument that the “H” mark had trans-border reputation due to extensive use and promotion, since 1997, in international magazines, its own website, and other publications, globally, and through stores and events, in India. The Court also factored in the various international registrations for the “H” mark in over 93 countries including UAE, France, Canada, Switzerland, Singapore, Australia, etc. The aggressive enforcement of the “H” mark against infringement, not only limited to India but on a global scale, also were presented for consideration. The Court, in line with the various factors enlisted in Section in 11(6) and 11(7) of the Trade Marks Act, 1999, made a determination on the well-known status of the mark.
The Delhi High Court, through Hon’ble Justice C. Hari Shankar, stood satisfied by the evidence forwarded by Hermès and, accordingly, awarded a well-known mark status to the “H” mark. This judgement comes after an order of permanent injunction against Crimzon, passed in December.
Authored by Ipshita Bhattacharyya (Associate, Banana IP Counsels), and Pranav Wadhawankar (Intern, BananaIP Associates)
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