The Bombay High Court has refused to vacate an ex-parte order which restrained KLF Nirmal Industries from using packaging and labels deceptively similar to Parachute Coconut Oil.

In that context, Justice RI Chagla observed that, "I do not find any merit in the Defendant’s application under Order 39 Rule 4 of the CPC, as the Defendant in my view has failed to make out any case for vacating and / or setting aside the said order by discharging its burden and / or meeting the essential requirements for vacating an ex-parte order under Order 39 Rule 4 of CPC."

Senior Counsel Venkatesh Dhond and others appeared for the defendant, while Senior Counsel Ravi Kadam and others appeared for the plaintiff.

In this case, Marico filed a lawsuit against KLF, accusing them of trademark infringement for selling oil in a blue bottle with similar labels. Marico discovered KLF's products in July 2023 and promptly sought a Court order to restrain KLF.

On August 18, 2023, the High Court issued an ex-parte ad-interim order, prohibiting KLF from using the allegedly infringing packaging. The Court found it deceptively similar to Parachute's coconut tree device, broken coconut device, blue bottles/containers, and overall trade dress.

Dissatisfied with the order, KLF filed an application under Order 39 Rule 4 of CPC, seeking the vacation of the injunction order.

The Court noted that the essential requirement for the vacation of an ex-parte order, i.e., where a party has knowingly made a false or misleading statement in relation to a material, is required to be established in an application for vacation of the ex-parte order under Order 39 Rule 4. It was further noted that even then, under the first proviso, the Court may not vacate the injunction if it considers it unnecessary to do so in the interest of justice.

With that background, the Court held that, "the Defendant has in the present case failed to establish / discharge the burden of proving that the Plaintiff has knowingly made a false or misleading statement in relation to a material particular in either the Plaint or in the Interim Application for temporary injunction."

Accordingly, the matter was disposed of.

Cause Title: Marico Limited vs K.L.F. Nirmal Industries Pvt. Ltd.

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