The High Court of Delhi in its order dated 26th July, 2013 has relied on the fact that a trademark infringement is not limited to the mark itself but also concerns itself with the similarity in the packaging of the impugned products. This principle was upheld in the order of ex-parte ad interim injunction passed on 1st June 2012, granted against the Defendant- Mr. Sunil Sagar. The facts of the case are set out briefly below:
The Plaintiff, Coral Seal & Ceramics (“CSC”) is engaged in the business of manufacturing and trading of automobile parts and mechanical seals under the trademark Coral Mechanical Seal. CSC, to protect its IP, had applied for registration of the mark with the Registrar of Trademarks and this was objected to by Mr Sunil Sagar. CSC had been using the mark in question since 2005 continuously, regularly, extensively and uninterruptedly and had spent large amounts of money on sales promotion and advertisement through various forms of media. CSC stated that the purchasers of ‘Coral Mechanical Seal’ are generally semi-literate persons or traders dealing with automobile parts and mechanical seals who recognize the goods with its distinctive mark, shape design, getup and layout of the product.
The High Court considered the case and gave its prima facie view on the following issues:
- Whether the Plaintiff is the owner and proprietor of the trademark ‘Coral Mechanical Seal’?
Looking at the prima facie case, it can be concluded that the Plaintiff is indeed the first owner of the mark.
- Whether the Defendant is passing off its goods as those of the Plaintiff?
Yes, as the products of the Defendant and the Plaintiff have similar looking packages for the same product.
- Whether the Defendant's packaging is identical to the Plaintiff's packaging, thereby amounting to infringement of the Plaintiff's copyright?
Yes, there being a high degree of deceptive resemblance between the products and their mark, device label, brand name, design, shape, scheme, layout, get-up and arrangement of features, any purchaser of ordinary prudence is bound to get confused as to the source of origin of the goods.
- Whether the Defendant is the prior user of the impugned trademark ‘Coral Mechanical Seal’?
The invoice produced by the Defendant dated November 2005 was not considered, the purchasing party being a firm incorporated in 2009.
The Hon’ble Court upheld the ad interim injunction passed by the Court on 1st June, 2012 granting immediate relief to the suffering party being the Plaintiff.