This post highlights recent decisions by the High Court of Delhi and Himachal Pradesh on intellectual property rights, focusing on trademark and patent infringement cases. The cases involve disputes over whisky label similarities, fertilizer patent claims, and the contentious use of a registered trademark.
Officer’s Choice Vs. Peace Maker Prestige Whisky: The Delhi High Court injuncts the use of a similar label.
In a case involving the labels of Officer’s Choice and Peace Maker for whisky, the Delhi High Court granted an interim injunction restraining the defendant from using a similar label. Though the word marks in the label were different, the Court stated that the similarity in the labels was obvious and that the differences pale into insignificance. The Court found the similarity of insignia, arrangement of colours for background and lettering, use of golden border, etc., to give rise to the similarity of labels, which would give rise to confusion among consumers in dimly lit bars and stores. Therefore, the Court granted an injunction in favour of the plaintiff while permitting the defendant to exhaust its stock in 30 days.
Citation: ALLIED BLENDERS @ DISTILLERS PRIVATE LIMITED vs HERMES DISTILLERY PRIVATE LIMITED, High Court of Delhi, 15th January, 2024, CS(COMM) 274/2021 and I.As. 7301/2021 & 4441/2023.
Fertilizer composition patent claims are prima facie infringed by the ‘Zinking’ product, says the Delhi High Court.
In a patent infringement case filed by SML against Happy Agro, the Delhi High Court stated that the defendant’s product ‘Zinking’ prima facie infringes the plaintiff’s patent claims relating to the fertilizer composition containing sulphur, zinc oxide, and other ingredients at specific proportions. The Court agreed with the report of the plaintiff’s expert and granted an interim injunction restraining the defendants from selling the product. This injunction order was issued exparte.
Citation: SML Ltd. vs . M/s Happy Agro Chemicals & Ors., High Court of Himachal Pradesh, 12th January, 2024, COMS No.4 of 2024, OMP No.41 of 2024
Application of Rong Thai to remove the mark ‘Baoji’ from the Register of Trademarks fails.
Rong Thai International filed a rectification petition to remove the mark, Baoji, in class 25, from the Register of Trademarks. This trademark was registered by ‘Ena Footwear’. The rectification petition was filed based on the non-use of the trademark under Section 47.
After reviewing the facts of the case, the Delhi High Court refused to remove the trademark from the register because Rong Thai failed to prove through clear, unequivocal evidence that the mark was not being used by Ena Footwear. The Court stated that bonafide use requires genuine use of the mark, and not a token use, and observed that Ena Footwear was able to prove bonafide use through invoices between 2012 and 2022. In the decision, the Court also expounded the fact that non-use of the mark has to be shown for 5 years and that this 5-year term will be calculated for a period ending 3 months before the date of filing of the rectification petition.
Citation: RONG THAI INTERNATIONAL GROUP CO. LTD. vs. ENA FOOTWEAR PVT. LTD. AND ANR. Delhi High Court, 05th January, 2024, C.O. (COMM.IPD-TM) 100/2021
The High Court of Delhi and Himachal Pradesh’s decisions demonstrate its careful consideration in trademark and patent infringement cases. The rulings emphasize the need for clear evidence in intellectual property disputes, whether for proving the uniqueness of product labels or establishing patent claim infringements.
The case notes in this blog post have been written by IP attorneys at BananaIP Counsels based on their review and understanding of the Judgments. It may be noted that other IP attorneys and experts in the field may have different opinions about the cases, or arrive at different conclusions therefrom. It is advisable to read the Judgments before making any decisions based on the case notes.
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