TM Infringement: Delhi HC Imposes ₹25 Lakhs Cost For Deliberate, Dishonest Use Of 'Dawat'/'Daawat' Basmati Rice Packaging
The Delhi High Court decreed the trademark infringement suit in favor of the plaintiff-LT Foods Limited and awarded Rs. 25,00,000/- for damages and costs and held that the illegal acts of the defendant are not innocent and are clearly deliberate with a dishonest intention.
The bench of Justice Pratibha M. Singh observed that the defendant's counterfeiting was completely contrary to the law and was also diluting the reputation and goodwill of the plaintiff's mark. Moreover, the customers are being misled by them, and the entire effort was deliberate and dishonest.
In this case, the plaintiff, LT Foods Limited, had filed the suit for a grant of permanent Injunction and damages for the infringement of marks, passing off, and unfair competition of the product bearing the marks 'DAWAT'/ 'DAAWAT'. This product of the plaintiff owing to the strict quality control standards maintained by it, has attained enormous goodwill and reputation not only in India but in several countries of the world and that the defendant is using identical packaging of basmati rice and is instead selling Jawaphool rice of low quality. Thus, misleading the customers.
Advocate R. Abhishek appeared on behalf of the Plaintiff.
The Court observed that Defendant is clearly indulging in blatant violation of Plaintiff's statutory and common law rights in the marks 'DAWAT'/ 'DAAWAT' and there can be no justification for manufacturing and selling rice in counterfeit 'DAAWAT' branded packaging.
The Court further observed that the present is not an ordinary case where the brand of the Plaintiff is misused. It is a case where Defendant is using counterfeit packaging which is identical to Plaintiff's packaging to sell Jawaphool Rice portraying the same to be Basmati Rice, which are goods for Human consumption, this misrepresentation by Defendant is also impermissible.
Accordingly, the Court decreed the matter in favor of the plaintiff awarding damages and costs to the tune of Rs. 25,00,000/-
Cause Title- LT Foods Limited v. Saraswati Trading Company