Latest Trademark Cases in 2021 – Part 6

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RELIANCE INDUSTRIES LIMITED AND ANR. VS ASHOK KUMAR

In this case, Reliance Industries Limited, the Plaintiff, found a hardware fittings and bathroom accessories retailer using their well-known mark ‘JIO’ and hence filed a trademark & copyright infringement suit before the Bombay High Court. The Defendant on 11th June, 2021 had filed two applications for registration of the mark JIO and pirated artwork which were advertised, claiming use since 16th December, 2016. The court noted that the Defendant not only copied Plaintiffs’ mark, logo and artwork but also added an image of a leaping jaguar which violated Jaguar Land Rover’s intellectual property as well. The Plaintiffs filed an interim application praying for injunction against Defendant’s use of its copyright and trademark until the final disposal of the suit. The court was of the opinion that an overwhelming prima facie case and balance of convenience lied in Plaintiffs’ favour, and irretrievable prejudice would be caused if the reliefs sought were denied. Hence, the court granted a temporary injunction and gave the Defendant the liberty to apply for a variation, modification or recall of the order after 7 days’ notice to the Plaintiffs’ Advocates. Finally, the court listed the matter hearing on further ad-interim relief on 30th September, 2021.

Citation: Reliance Industries Limited And Anr. Vs Ashok Kumar, Decided by Bombay High Court on 23rd August, 2021, available at: Reliance Industries Limited And Anr. Vs Ashok Kumar, visited on 25th August, 2021.

SONY PICTURES NETWORK INDIA PVT. LTD. V/S THE STATE OF MAHARASHTRA & ANR.

In this case, an FIR was filed by Karad Urban Co-operative Bank (KUCB) for defamation by the web series ‘Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta story,’ which aired on SonyLIV App. The FIR accused Sony Pictures Network India Pvt. Ltd. and others of offences punishable under Section 500 of IPC and Sections 102 and 107 of the Trade Marks Act, and Sections 66C and 43(b) of the Information Technology Act. In its FIR, the bank alleged that in the third episode of the web series, a logo displayed in the background resembled its trademark, causing severe damage to its financial, commercial and social reputation. Aggrieved by the FIR the accused filed two criminal writ petitions seeking a stay on investigations. The Bombay High Court heard both the matters jointly wherein the petitioners sought the stay on three grounds. Firstly, as per Section 115(4) of the Trade Marks Act, 1999, investigation couldn’t be done by an officer below the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police, but the said FIR was being investigated by a police inspector. Secondly, alleged offence under Section 500 of IPC was non-cognizable could not be investigated by police on the basis of an FIR. Lastly, that the web series did not come within scope of Trade Marks Act, 1999 based on Prateek Chandragupt Goyal Vs. The State of Maharashtra & Anr, wherein same court held that mere use of trademark in an article does not amount to false application. Convinced by all the three grounds the Court stayed the investigations until the next date of hearing i.e., 17th September, 2019.

Citation: Sony Pictures Network India Pvt. Ltd. v/s The State of Maharashtra & Anr. Decided by Bombay High Court on 23rd August, 2021, available at:Sony Pictures Network India Pvt. Ltd. v/s The State of Maharashtra & Anr., visited on 25th August, 2021.

Source for FIR details: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/mumbai-quash-fir-over-bank-logo-say-web-series-producer-network/articleshow/85526168.cms

Meher Distilleries pvt. Ltd. vs. SG Worldwide Inc. and Radico Khaitan Ltd.

An appeal to Commercial court was filed by Meher Distilleries, who is a registered proprietor of the trademark THE ASWA for the class – 33 including alcoholic beverages. Respondent No.2- Radico Khaitan launched a product in the same class, a single malt whiskey, using the mark ASĀVA. The appellant has registered a trademark under class – 33. Later appellant filed a commercial suit for trademark infringement and filed an interim application to restrain the Respondents from using ASĀVA as a trademark. The learned Single Judge by the impugned order dismissed the interim application. Challenging the judgment and praying for a restraint order, Appellant has filed this commercial appeal under Section 13 of the Commercial Courts Act, 2015. The appellate court set aside the finding of the learned Single Judge that RAMPUR ASĀVA and not ASĀVA alone is the trademark of Defendant No.2. The court also set aside the finding that there is no visual, phonetic or structural similarity between THE ASWA and ASĀVA and the similarity/identity will have to be decided as per the settled principle that in respect of expensive consumable products, the use of house mark with the product mark will obviate the likelihood of confusion. Thus, the Appeal was allowed and the impugned order was quashed and set aside.

Citation: Meher Distilleries Pvt.Ltd vs Sg Worldwide Inc. And Anr Decided by Bombay High Court on  23 August, 2021, availabe at Meher Distilleries Pvt.Ltd vs Sg Worldwide Inc. And Anr. , visited on 25th August, 2021

Latest Trademark Cases in 2021

Read Latest Trademark Cases in 2021 – Part 1
Read Latest Trademark Cases in 2021 – Part 2
Read Latest Trademark Cases in 2021 – Part 3
Read Latest Trademark Cases in 2021 – Part 4
Read Latest Trademark Cases in 2021 – Part 5

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Disclaimer

Please note that these case updates have been put together from different sources, primary and secondary, and BananaIP’s reporters may not have verified all the decisions published in the bulletin. You may write to contact@bananaip.com  for corrections and take down.

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