In this post, we bring to you few Design Cases decided by Indian Courts in the year 2021:-
M/S Kamdhenu Limited v. M/S Aashiana Rolling Mills Ltd
In a case involving a registered design pertaining to double rib pattern of steel rods, the Delhi High Court cancelled the registration summarily stating that there is no need for a full trial. The Court came to this conclusion primarily based on the fact that the design that formed part of the registration was published as part of British, ISO and other standards before the filing date of the design application. Based on the evidence on record, the Court stated that the application for cancellation of the Registered Design has a high likelihood of success, and that no further evidence needs to be led in this respect. While stating so, the Court pointed out that a strong prima facie case at the interim level does not necessarily give rise to a high likelihood of success.
Citation: M/S Kamdhenu Limited vs M/S Aashiana Rolling Mills Ltd, Decided by Delhi High Court on 12 May, 2021, available at: https://indiankanoon.org/doc/45300504/, accessed on 17th November, 2021
E.N. Project and Engineering and Ors… vs Kvt Electrical Project and Ors.
In this case, the Plaintiffs, manufacturers of ‘cable trays’ filed a suit for infringement of their registered design. The Sessions Court granted an ad-interim ex-parte injunction in their favour. The Defendant filed an interim application seeking vacation of the order, alleging the registration to be male fide as the design was generic and lacked originality. The Court pointed out that, once registration is granted the onus shifts to the challenger to demonstrate prior existence of the design by way of prior publication. While applying the ocular test the Court noted that the Defendants’ cable tray was an apparent imitation of the Plaintiffs’ registered design and found the Defendants’ adoption to be dishonest. The Defendants failed to satisfy the Court on equity. The Court disposed the application and affirmed the injunction order to be absolute.
Citation: In the case of E.N. Project and Engineering… vs Kvt Electrical Project And… passed by Delhi High Court on 12th October, 2021, available at: http://indiankanoon.org/doc/146680473/ last visited on 17th November, 2021
Relaxo Footwears Limited vs Aqualite Industries Pvt Limited
In this case the Plaintiff, the largest footwear producer in India, filed an application seeking ex-parte injunction against the Defendant. The Plaintiff alleged that the Defendant imitated Plaintiff’s products/design/trade dress/get up. The Court analyzed the case at hand from the purview of Sections 2, 4, 5, 19, 22 of the Designs Act, 2000 and various cases. It noted that mere registration of the design would not entitle a registrant of the design to claim protection. It would always be open to the Defendant to plead and set up a defence of lack of novelty or existence of prior art. The Court stated that the test in deciding such matters was: “judged solely by the eye are the essential features present or are the two substantially different”. The Court compared their products and concluded that prima facie the Defendant had copied Plaintiff’s design. It was brought to the Court’s notice that although the Defendant alleged lack of originality in Plaintiff’s design, it had applied for registration of a similar design. The Court stated that the issue of existence of prior art would be considered after evidence had been led. The Plaintiff had made out a prima facie case and the balance of convenience was in its favour, and hence, an interim injunction was granted against the Defendant.
Citation: In the case of Relaxo Footwears Limited vs Aqualite Industries Pvt Limited passed by Delhi High Court on 8th October, 2021, available at: http://indiankanoon.org/doc/41801560/ last visited on 17th November, 2021
Crompton Greaves Consumer Electricals Ltd. v. CG Power and Industrial Solutions Ltd.,
The Plaintiff, Crompton Greaves Consumer Electricals Ltd. (CGCEL) approached the court regarding passing off/infringement of their registered design for submersible centrifugal pumps by the Defendant, CG Power and Industrial Solutions Ltd. (CGPISL) who copied the design and structure of the pump as well as used the trade name ‘CROMPTON’ or ‘CROMPTON GREAVES’ while advertising for the infringing pumps.
The Plaintiff sent a notice, post which the Defendant agreed to inform its dealers/channel partners to cease the use of the words ‘CROMPTON’ and/or ‘CROMPTON GREAVES’ on the products, or the relevant promotional material, and destroy any such packing or promotional material which infringes the rights of the Plaintiff. However, despite such communication, the products still visible on websites such as amazon.in or on Google searches – where the Defendant’s products were being sold with the Plaintiff’s trade name. More so, the Plaintiff alleged that there were communications being circulated in the market by the Defendant, deliberately showing association with the Plaintiff’s reputation.
The Defendant asserted that it claimed no right on the concerned trade names, and reaffirmed the Court that they would notify their channel partners once again to cease activities which infringed the rights of the Plaintiff, in any manner, including advertising on e-commerce websites.
Citation: Crompton Greaves Consumer Electricals Ltd. v. CG Power and Industrial Solutions Ltd., decided on 8th December 2021, available at:image accohttps://indiankanoon.org/doc/35584829/ last accessed on 6 January, 2022.
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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 [email protected] for corrections and take down.