Trademark Infringement: Delhi High Court Restrains Company From Selling Gas Stoves & Kitchenware Under ‘Prestige’ Brand Name
The Delhi High Court has recently restrained a Delhi-based company named K. K. and Company Delhi Private Limited from selling gas stoves, kitchenware, cookware, etc. under the brand name ‘Prestige’.
The Court passed an interim order in a case filed by TTK Prestige Limited alleging infringement of the trademark by the defendant company.
A Single Bench of Justice Amit Bansal held, “The plaintiff has been selling its products under the trademark “PRESTIGE” since 1955 and the earliest registration of the plaintiff’s mark is of 14th December, 1949. … The use of the trademark “PRESTIGE” by the defendant no.1 in respect of ‘gas stoves’ is likely to cause confusion in the market as the public at large would associate the said products of the defendant no.1 with the plaintiff.”
The Bench also noted that the plaintiff placed on record various invoices from the year 2007 to show sales of gas stoves and advertisements of the year 2019 to show that it was in the business of selling gas stoves under the trademark “PRESTIGE”.
“On the basis of the sales turnover as well as the promotional expenses placed on record by the plaintiff, the plaintiff has also established, at a prima facie stage, immense goodwill and reputation of its trademark “PRESTIGE”, albeit in respect of “pressure cookers”, the Court said.
Advocate Hemant Singh and Advocate Mamta Rani Jha represented the plaintiff while Advocate Sanjay Kumar and Advocate Mukesh Thakur represented the defendants.
The plaintiff company was engaged in the business of manufacturing, marketing, and sale of kitchen home appliances, including pressure cookers and gas stoves under the brand/trademark “PRESTIGE” since 1955, which was its house mark. Whereas, the defendant company was engaged in the business of manufacturing and sale of gas stoves and its component parts.
Last year, the plaintiff came across the trademark application filed on behalf of the defendant for the registration of the device mark. The plaintiff filed an opposition and then carried out an investigation in which it was revealed that the defendant was selling gas stoves in collusion with its sister concerns under the impugned trademark in bulk and on an order basis only. Hence, a suit was filed before the High Court by the plaintiff seeking a decree of permanent injunction, passing off along with other ancillary reliefs.
The High Court after hearing the contentions of both parties observed, “As the defendant no.1 claims to be „continuous user‟ of the trademark “PRESTIGE” from 1981, it should have filed documents evidencing such “continuous user‟. In the absence of any documents, the Court shall presume that there was no “continuous user” by the defendant no.1.”
The Court further noted that the defendant must have shown its continuous user prior to the user of the plaintiff or date of registration in favour of the plaintiff whichever is earlier.
“… the defendant no.1 has failed to establish use of the impugned trademark prior to the registration granted in favour of the plaintiff. Admittedly, no defence has been taken in the written statement with regard to validity of the registration granted in favour of the plaintiff”, said the Court.
The Court, therefore, said that a prima facie case of infringement as well as passing off is made out on behalf of the plaintiff and that the balance of convenience is also in the plaintiff’s favour and against the defendant.
“The plaintiff shall continue to suffer irreparable injury to its goodwill and reputation if the defendant no.1 is permitted to manufacture and sell goods bearing the impugned trademark”, the Court asserted.
Accordingly, the Court allowed the application of the plaintiff.
Cause Title- TTK Prestige Ltd. v. K. K. and Company Delhi Pvt. Ltd. & Ors. (Neutral Citation: 2023/DHC/001280)