Case Law: Havells India Limited Vs L Ramesh
In the recent case of HAVELLS INDIA LIMITED and L RAMESH, the Hon?ble High Court of Delhi decides whether the use of impugned mark by the defendant constitutes infringement/passing off of the plaintiff?s well-known trademark.
The Plaintiff is engaged in the business of electrical products including switch gears, fuse gears, cables, insulation wires, miniature circuit breakers and has been using the trademark/logo STANDARD since the year 1958. Plaintiff holds a number of trademark registrations in its favour for the mark STANDARD in India as well as in foreign jurisdictions. Plaintiff claims that due to extensive and long usage, the trademark/trade name STANDARD has gained immense popularity and reputation in relation to the electrical products among the consumers and general public. Further, the trademark STANDARD has been declared a well-known mark under Section 11(6) of the Trade Marks Act, 1999 by this Court in the order dated 8th March, 2016 in CS(OS) 2966/2015.
Plaintiff states that the trademark, brand name and trading style STANDARD has acquired distinctiveness and secondary meaning. Plaintiff claims that the Defendant has dishonestly adopted the impugned mark/s STANDARD and has replaced the letter ?D? occurring at the end of the word STANDARD with the letter ?O? to form the impugned trademark ?SS STANDARO?. Plaintiff further asserts that the defendant has not only copied the trademark of plaintiff but has also copied the font and has adopted the device of triangle in the impugned trademark in which the letter ?S? is placed, so as to look deceptively similar to the plaintiff?s logo.
Plaintiff submits that in June 2019, the plaintiff came across the defendant?s impugned mark, which was published in the Trademark Journal in February 2019 and filed an opposition against the same. Further, pursuant to an investigation conducted on behalf of the plaintiff, the plaintiff came to know that defendant has not only copied plaintiff?s trademarks but has also copied the packaging and other elements of the trade dress of the plaintiff?s products to deceive the consumers into believing that the impugned products are those of the plaintiff. Furthermore, the Defendant is using the impugned trademarks in relation to electrical goods such as MCB, switch gears, etc., which are identical to the Plaintiff?s goods.
A comparative table in respect of the trademarks being used by the plaintiff and the defendant is reproduced herein below:
The Hon?ble Court stated that the Plaintiff has been able to establish that it is the registered owner and has been using the trademark ?STANDARD? since the year 1958 in respect of electrical goods such as miniature circuit breaker, switch gear, isolator etc. Further, the plaintiff is also the registered owner of the device mark , which it has been using since 1969 as the registered logo . The Court admitted that the user of the plaintiff has been prior in time to that of the defendant. Though, the defendant contended that the plaintiff is no longer using the aforesaid trademarks, the fact of the matter is that the plaintiff is still the registered proprietor of aforesaid marks and is free to use the same whenever it desires.
The Court noted that the plaintiff has made out a prima facie case in its favour for the grant of interim injunction. The balance of convenience is in favour of the plaintiff and against the defendant.
The Court granted ex parte injunction on the basis of impugned marks being used by the defendant at that point of time including the trademarks ?STANDARD?/?SS, logo/device, and .