Through this note, we bring to you 3 trademark cases. One case relates to lowering of damages based on computation issues, and other two cases relate to infringement based on the triple identity test at the interim and final levels. The cases involve trademarks such as Dengue Don for mosquito repellents and household insecticides, Raashee for pan masala, and Sri Sharanam Ayyappa for rice.
‘Sri Sharanam Ayyappa’ infringes the trademark ‘Ayyappan’ for Rice, but damages of 3 Lakhs is not justified, says the Karnataka High Court.
In a case involving the trademarks ‘Ayyappan’ and ‘Sri Sharanam Ayyappa’ for rice, the Karnataka High Court confirmed the decision of the trial court that the defendant’s mark is infringing. The Court stated that when a person with average intellect and imperfect recollection sees the mark ‘Ayyappan’ and ‘Sri Sharanam Ayyappa’ for rice, there is a likelihood of confusion. However, the Court stated that the damages of 3 Lakhs granted by the trial court had no basis as the plaintiff was profitable except for 2 years, and the Court reduced the damages to 1 Lakh Rupees.
Citation: SRI. HANUMAN (BUHLER… vs M/S. LAKSHMI VENKATESHWARA RICE INDUSTRIES, 12th September, 2023, High Court of Karnataka, REGULAR FIRST APPEAL NO. 4110 OF 2013 (INJ-)
Rajshree Vs. Raashee for Pan Masala: The Delhi High Court permits use of ‘My Raashee’ with different trade dress.
In a case involving the trademarks Rajshree and Raashee for Pan masala, Betel Nut, Tobacco and other products, the Delhi High Court decreed that the defendant could use the mark, My Raashee, for its products. However, the Court asked the defendant to write the trademark differently and use different packaging and trade dress. Additionally, the Court also imposed a sum of Rs. 50, 000/- as costs on the defendant.
Citation: KAMAL KANT AND COMPANY LLP vs RAASHEE FRAGRANCES INDIA PVT LTD, 23rd January, 2024, Delhi High Court, CS(COMM) 680/2017
‘Dengue Don’ and ‘Garden Dengue Don’ for Mosquito Repellants and Agarbattis are confusingly similar, says the Bombay High Court.
In a case involving the trademarks “Dengue Don” and “Garden Dengue Don” for mosquito repellants, household insecticides, agarbattis, dhoop, and so on, the Bombay High Court affirmed the interim injunction granted by the trial court in favor of the plaintiff. The Court stated that the plaintiff had registered the trademark “Dengue Don” in classes 3 and 5, and that the defendant’s trademark “Garden Dengue Don” is confusingly and deceptively similar to the plaintiff’s mark, which gives rise to a prima facie case of infringement. Although the registration in class 5 was in 2015, and in class 3 in 2019, with differing user claims, the Court observed that classes are merely administrative, and the focus must be on the nature of the goods in question, which are similar. Noting the argument of the defendant about prior use, the Court stated that the specifics have to be decided at trial, and that the interim injunction granted by the trial court is not erroneous.
Citation: Samya International Thr. Its Partner Nayan Dneshkumar Shah Vs. Relaxo Domeswear Llp Thr.Its Abdullah Hafizullah Khan And Others [APPEAL FROM ORDER NO. 352 OF 2021]
While some courts are adopting liberal approaches to compute damages, others are particular about accounts of revenue and profits/losses. From the infringement and passing off perspectives, principles are more or less settled, and though there are some differences in application of principles, there is a general level consistency in decision-making within courts.
The case note/s 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.