This running post provides a summary of the latest Trademark cases decided by courts in India in 2022:
Khadi &Village Industries Commission V. Raman Gupta & Ors.
In this case, the Plaintiff, Khadi & Village Industries Commission was regulated under Khadi and Village Industries Commission Act, 1956. The Plaintiff was the registered proprietor of various words bearing the name “KHADI” in both Hindi and English language and also a logo in the form of ‘Charkha Logos’. The Defendants started using the trade name ‘KHADI BY HERITAGE’ and also started a company using “KHADI BY HERITAGE” and used it as wordmark and also as logo mark. The Defendants started a website named https://khadi-by-heritage.business.site/ , in which they used ‘Charkha Logos’ and the trademark ‘KHADI BY HERITAGE’ to sell PPE Kits, hand sanitizers, and fireballs. The Plaintiff contended that the word KHADI was already a registered mark and could create confusion in the minds of customers and harm its goodwill. The Defendants were restrained from using the trade mark KHADI either on a stand-alone basis or in a logo form, the CHARKHA logo with the mark KHADI also as the domain names and the corresponding websites https://khadi-by-heritage.business.site/ , www.KhadiByHeritage.com and www.KhadiByHeritage.org .
Citation: Khadi &Village Industries Commission V. Raman Gupta & Ors., decided by Delhi High Court on 4th March, 2022; available at https://indiankanoon.org/doc/91668083/; visited on 7th March, 2022.
Soothe Healthcare Pvt. Ltd. V. Dabur India Limited
The Plaintiff, Soothe Healthcare Pvt. Ltd., incorporated in 2012, was engaged in manufacturing, marketing and trading of goods related to personal hygiene. The Plaintiff obtained Trademark registration for the marks “SUPER CUTESTERS”, “SUPER CUTES”, “SUPER CUTEZ” which gained immense popularity and reputation. The Plaintiff alleged that the Defendant, Dabur India Ltd., had adopted a Trademark “SUPER PANTS”, which was deceptively similar to various trademarks of the Plaintiff and therefore amounted to infringement and passing off. The Plaintiff contented that the essential element of its Trademark was copied and the adoption was not bona fide. The Defendant’s contention was that the word “Super” was a laudatory and descriptive word and the Plaintiff had itself used the word in order to indicate the quality of the product such as ‘Super Soft’, ‘Super Absorbent’ and so on. The Defendant also showed the distinction between the packaging of both the products, which used different colours, which would in no manner create any confusion for the consumers. The High Court of Delhi dealt with the issue of whether the word “Super” was laudatory and descriptive in nature and stated that the word is not capable of distinguishing the goods of the Plaintiff, as many other companies use similar words to indicate the nature of the product. Therefore, the Court stated that even if the Plaintiff obtained the registration of the aforesaid marks, it does not give them the exclusive right over the use of the word “Super”. The Court held that the case had no merit as there was no infringement or passing off on the part of the Defendant, and thus did not grant injunction.
Citation: Soothe Healthcare Pvt. Ltd. V. Dabur India Ltd., decided by Delhi High Court on 3rd March, 2022; available at: https://indiankanoon.org/doc/72485810/; visited on 6th March, 2022.
Aktiebolaget Volvo & Ors. V. Lamina Suspension Products Limited
In this case, the Plaintiff (Volvo), international manufacturer and seller of automotive and transport vehicles, was registered proprietor of the word “VOLVO” and “FMX”. The word “VOLVO” was declared as a well-known mark and was used by Volvo for creating merchandise goods which included stationery, bags, watches, clothing and others. The Defendant (Lamina) was in the business of selling, manufacturing, dealing, supplying, and exporting a wide array of leaf springs and automobile leaf springs and had a website named www.laminasprings.com and www.laminasuspension.com. The dispute arose when Lamina was found selling products bearing the Volvo trademarks, with inferior quality on its website and third-party websites such as www.indiamart.com, which led to deception and confusion to the customer. The Court restrained Lamina from using the marks “VOLVO” and ”FMX” or any other confusingly or deceptively similar marks on their websites as well as third-party websites in the future and restrained Lamina from disposing or dealing with assets and also directed it to disclose the statement of accounts and assets to compute damages to be awarded to Volvo.
Citation: Aktiebolaget Volvo & Ors. V. Lamina Suspension Products Limited, decided by Delhi High Court on 8th March 2022; available at https://indiankanoon.org/doc/159938034/; visited on 10th March 2022.
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