This post will discuss another trademark infringement case in the ecommerce market in India.
Recently, in October this year, Eicher Motors Ltd, which manufactures and sells the Royal Enfield bike, filed an infringement suit against Saurabh Katar and Kuldeep Singh, for infringing their trademark ENFIELD, ROYAL ENFIELD and BULLET. The suit filed before the Delhi High Court, also claimed infringement of copyright of the logos and the website of Eicher Motors Ltd. Eicher alleged that Saurabh Katar and Kuldeep Singh were selling products on ebay using the Plaintiff’s registered trademarks.
Eicher Motors Ltd. is a leading automobile manufacturer and sells various types of two-wheelers including bikes, automobile parts and components through its unit Royal Enfield. The trademarks ENFIELD and BULLET are well known trademarks in the Indian markets. The website of the plaintiff “royalenfield.com” is extremely distinctive with a unique visual look and feel.
The defendants were found to be selling bike care products, apparels and other lifestyle/ related products such as riding gear, rain suits, caps, t-shirts, readymade garments, jeans, trousers, jackets, gloves, helmets, head gears, boots and shoes, mugs, key-chains, bike covers etc under the trademarks ‘Royal Enfield’ and ‘Bullet’. The Defendant had registered the domain name “www.royalfieldmotorcycle.co.cc” which is deceptively similar to that of the plaintiff.
The Court in this case, passed an ex-parte interim injunction against the sellers, and restrained them from “using, transferring, alienating or offering for sale or creating any third party interest in the domain name, and from using images, distinctive expressions and features of the plaintiffs website so as to result in infringement of trademark, passing off, infringement of copyright of the plaintiff”.
The main matter of this case is pending before the Delhi High Court, and the next date of hearing of the case is scheduled on November 27. The judgment is likely, to emphasize on ‘likelihood of confusion test’ among consumers, and trademark infringement on ecommerce platforms.
Ecommerce, being an easy channel for trade, is used by many to expand, carry out and make their products and services more accessible to consumers. A trademark owner enjoys the same rights, even on an ecommerce platform as under normal circumstances of trade and can prevent others from free-riding on the reputation and goodwill of the trademark. Indian Courts in various judgments across various jurisdictions have given the trademark owner their due right, and prevented others from infringing trademarks and upheld the likelihood of confusion test, while deciding on infringement cases. It will be interesting to note the outcome of this case.
Authored by Sarthak Saran
Contributed by Trade mark Attorneys of BananaIP, India