Barring Covid-19, the year 2020 has been remarkable for the INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS, and many landmark judgements were passed by the Indian Judiciary when the entire country was suffering from the Pandemic. 

We have consolidated the top five judgements in the IPR sector in this article.

  1. One against the three- Nike Wins Permanent Injunction against the use of “Nike” and “Swoosh mark” Label by the Defendant: Nike Innovate CV vs. G.B.Shoe and two others. 

  • The Delhi High Court granted permanent injunction against the three defendants using the label and mark of the well-known foreign brand “NIKE.”
  • After the detailed testimony of the Plaintiffs’ Witnesses, Evidence introduced by the plaintiff, and perusal of the Local Commissioner’s report, the Court came to a conclusion that defendants are restrained from using the mark and are liable for passing off their goods, thereby violating the rights of the Plaintiff. 

2. French Clothing Major granted a restraining order against the defendant for using the brand “LACOSTE.”: Lacoste SA vs. Suresh Kumar Sharma

 

  • Lacoste contended that Suresh Kumar Sharma was using their brand name “LACOSTE” in their shirting and suiting, thereby passing off the goods constituting infringement of the rights of the Plaintiff.
  • Deciding in favour of the Plaintiff, the District Court ordered that the Defendant (Suresh Kumar Sharma) had no rights to use the brand and avail undue enrichment from using the mark of the plaintiff. 

Defining the Trans-Bound Reputation, the court granted permanent injunction in favour of the plaintiff and against the defendant, restraining them from using the mark.

3. Well-Known Marks Vs. The Surname: Ex-parte injunction granted  by the Mumbai High Court in the matter of Bajaj Electricals limited vs. Gaurav Bajaj

  • The Defendant (Gaurav Bajaj) operated the business with the trade name “Apna Bajaj Store and Bajaj Excellent” along with the website domain name – http://www.apnabajajstore.com/.  
  • The Plaintiff filed an injunction suit against the defendant, restraining him from using the trademark “BAJAJ”- which was used by the plaintiff and has acquired the status of well-known trademark in their business dealings. 

Rejecting the contentions of the defendant that the name used by them was in the context of the surname, The court granted the injunction in favour of the plaintiff and against the defendant.

4. YouTube cannot be a medium of disparagement of a brand- Marico Limited vs. Abhijeet Bhansali.

  • The defendant here is a YouTube Vlogger who had published a video titled- Is Parachute Coconut Oil 100% pure? In the said video, he had made few comments that directly disparaged the reputation of the brand “Parachute” owned by the plaintiff company.
  • The Defendant refused to take down the video after receiving repeated notices of cease and desist from the plaintiff, stating that he had the “right to voice out opinions – Right to Speech.” 
  • Disagreeing with this statement, the Court passed negative judgement against the defendant, asking him to take down the video and directed him to have better social awareness responsibilities as a social media influencer.

5. BOULT vs. boat : Violation of the trademark? Imagine Marketing Pvt. Ltd. vs. Exotic Mile

  • The Delhi High Court passed an interim restraining order against Exotic mile for using the mark – BOULT and the tagline “Unplug Yourself” which was confusingly and deceptively similar to the mark and tagline of the plaintiff- “boat and Plug into Nirvana” respectively.