This running post provides a summary of the latest Trademark cases decided by courts in India in 2022:
M/S. Apex Laboratories Pvt. Ltd Vs. Axis Life Sciences
The Plaintiff, Apex Laboratories, used the trademark “ZINCOVIT” since the year 1990 and established great reputation and good will in the market. The Plaintiff adopted a distinct and a unique seven strip colour packaging from the year 2014 for their product, a multi-vitamin supplement for adults and children to boost their immunity. The Defendant, Axis Life Science, manufactured and sold a health supplement under the trade name – “ZENKO- VIT” which was phonetically similar with a different spelling. The Plaintiff claimed that the Defendant deliberately, with full knowledge of the Plaintiff’s product adopted an identical product with different spelling but phonetically similar and even tried to copy the seven-strip colour design. The Madras High Court observed that the Defendant infringed the registered trademark of the Plaintiff and tried to pass off on the goodwill and reputation of the Plaintiff by adopting a similar product and trademark, which were deceptively similar. An ex- parte order was passed directing the Defendant to pay the cost of Rs. 50,000 as compensation and surrender all the materials associated with the product which infringed the Plaintiff’s trademark and the Plaintiff was granted relief of permanent injunction by the Court.
Citation: M/S. Apex Laboratories Pvt. Ltd vs. Axis life sciences, decided by Madras High Court on 3rd January, 2022, available at: https://indiankanoon.org/doc/172029636/, visited on 2nd March, 2022.
Timex Group India Ltd Vs. Mahalaxmi Enterprises & Anr.
The Plaintiff filed the present suit u/s 134 & 135 and 27 of Trademarks Act, 1999 and Section 51 of Copyright Act, 1957 for permanent injunction restraining infringement, passing off, rendition of account, delivery up, damages etc. The artwork involved in Plaintiff’s marks viz. Timex/Timex stylized and formative/bearing the labels were its original artistic works and held copyright therein. It was further the case of Plaintiff that during market survey in 3rd week of April 2018, it came to the knowledge of Plaintiffs that Defendants were engaged in wholesale and retail sales of counterfeit watches. The Court observed that the Defendants were manufacturing and selling counterfeit products of Plaintiff’s trade name to retailers, distributors, sellers in markets of New Delhi in an unauthorized manner and without any leave or licence of Plaintiffs, which caused confusion and deception among the minds of consumers. The Court held in favour of the Plaintiffs and granted decree in line with the prayer clause 37(a),(b),(c),(d) & (e) of the plaint and further for a sum of Rs. 4 lacs along with cost in its favour and against Defendants jointly and severally.
Citation: Timex Group India Ltd vs. Mahalaxmi Enterprises & Anr., Decided by District Court of Delhi on 27th January, 2022, available at https://indiankanoon.org/doc/94366163/, last visited on 16th February, 2022.
Bata India Limited Vs. Mittal Footcare India and Ors.
The Plaintiff, Bata India Limited was the registered owner of the trademark/tradename ‘Bata’ in relation to sale of footwear and accessories. Whereas, the Defendant no.1, Mittal Footcare India manufactured, sold and supplied identical products like slippers under the trademark “Boat” with white font and background, which was deceptively similar and identical to the Plaintiff’s mark. The Defendant No.1 supplied these products to Defendant no.2 and 3 without the authorization/approval of the Plaintiff.
The Court observed that Defendant no.1 not only copied the writing style and manner of representation of the Plaintiff but also used the same red colour packaging with the mark “Boat”, similar to that of Plaintiff, which amounted to passing off. It was noted that this act of Defendant no.1 appeared to be deliberate and intentional to trade upon the reputation and goodwill of the Plaintiff.
In view of the same, the Court granted an ad-interim injunction, restraining the Defendants from manufacturing, supplying, selling, marketing in any manner including online sale or dealing in any other way, any products including slippers or footwear of any description bearing the mark including lettering/writing style, represented in a manner that would amount to infringement of Plaintiff’s registered rights in the mark BATA.
Citation: Bata India Limited vs. Mittal Footcare India and Ors., Decided by District Court of Delhi on 29th January, 2022, available at https://indiankanoon.org/doc/94366163/., last visited on 16th February, 2022.
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