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Global Car Group Pte. Limited & Another v/s Droom Technology Private Limited


Company & Directors' Information:- B N GLOBAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U15400PB2014PTC038543

Company & Directors' Information:- D B GROUP INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U63000MH2006PTC158759

Company & Directors' Information:- K V GLOBAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U24100DL2014PTC263567

Company & Directors' Information:- GLOBAL CORPORATION LIMITED [Active] CIN = L74999DL1992PLC048880

Company & Directors' Information:- T & I GLOBAL LTD. [Active] CIN = L29130WB1991PLC050797

Company & Directors' Information:- K G GLOBAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74999DL2000PTC104788

Company & Directors' Information:- C S A V GROUP INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Not available for efiling] CIN = U72900DL2004PTC124999

Company & Directors' Information:- A. V. GLOBAL CORPORATION PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U63090DL2007PTC159315

Company & Directors' Information:- A N GLOBAL LIMITED [Active] CIN = U92110MH1985PLC035269

Company & Directors' Information:- D S GLOBAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1995PTC071516

Company & Directors' Information:- A B C GLOBAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U51909PB2011PTC035103

Company & Directors' Information:- DROOM TECHNOLOGY PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U72300DL2014PTC271386

Company & Directors' Information:- I A T GLOBAL COMPANY PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U24116DL1997PTC084916

Company & Directors' Information:- J D GLOBAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U51909DL1997PTC091270

Company & Directors' Information:- B N G GLOBAL INDIA LIMITED [Active] CIN = U52590DL2011PLC225377

Company & Directors' Information:- N K COMPANY (GLOBAL) PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U52390WB2010PTC153624

Company & Directors' Information:- K B K GLOBAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U24296DL2016PTC290487

Company & Directors' Information:- M & D GLOBAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U31101UP1974PTC003937

Company & Directors' Information:- V R GLOBAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45200WB2007PTC120797

Company & Directors' Information:- M M GLOBAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U29120WB1986PTC041280

Company & Directors' Information:- R V GLOBAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74990MH2009PTC195301

Company & Directors' Information:- M M C GLOBAL INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U11200MH2010PTC206910

Company & Directors' Information:- S R GLOBAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U51109WB1997PTC084553

Company & Directors' Information:- H V GLOBAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U18101DL2000PTC103960

Company & Directors' Information:- R P GLOBAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U74990MH2009PTC193409

Company & Directors' Information:- M S GLOBAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U70100MH2008PTC213273

Company & Directors' Information:- R S V GLOBAL LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U51909DL1994PLC059032

Company & Directors' Information:- N B GLOBAL (INDIA) PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U15122UP2012PTC051614

Company & Directors' Information:- G S S GROUP PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U01212KL1995PTC009575

Company & Directors' Information:- D C GROUP PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U51109WB1981PTC033553

Company & Directors' Information:- AT GROUP INDIA LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74999MH2013PLC247209

Company & Directors' Information:- R & L GROUP LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U01403HR2012PLC046635

Company & Directors' Information:- PTE INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U25209MH2001PTC132898

Company & Directors' Information:- A M GLOBAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74999MH2015PTC261061

Company & Directors' Information:- L S A GLOBAL INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Under Process of Striking Off] CIN = U74900TG2015PTC098308

Company & Directors' Information:- R L GLOBAL INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U52300HP2014PTC000764

Company & Directors' Information:- G R GLOBAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U70102KA2013PTC069586

Company & Directors' Information:- H. E. GLOBAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U72901GJ2016PTC092866

    CS(COMM). No. 897 of 2018

    Decided On, 17 August 2018

    At, High Court of Delhi

    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE J.R. MIDHA

    For the Plaintiffs: Anil Sapra, Senior Advocate, Ajay Kohli, Bhumika Kapoor, Pooja Vohra, Jaideep Singh, Sarthak Katyal, Advocates. For the Defendant: Amit Sibal, Senior Advocate, Nitin Bhatiam, Advocate.



Judgment Text

I.A.7047/2018

1. The plaintiffs are seeking interim injunction against the defendant from publishing and circulating the impugned advertisement comprising of the 'Pop up', 'Second Link' and 'Third Link'. According to the plaintiffs, the defendant’s advertisement disparages and denigrates the business, services, goodwill, reputation and trademark/tag line of the plaintiffs.

2. The plaintiffs are carrying on the business of sale of used/pre-owned cars in the name of 'Cars24'. The plaintiffs have developed an advertisement campaign in which Mr. Boman Irani, a Bollywood celebrity appears in their advertisement as their brand ambassador. The advertisement uses the phrase ‘Car Becho Best Price Mein’ with ‘Cars24’.

3. The defendant is circulating an advertisement campaign in which they use the catch phrase 'Car Becho Sahi Price Mein' in the same colour combination of orange and blue, font and style and a gentleman is shown with goat’s face and the hand gesture is shown in the same manner as that of Boman Irani.

4. The plaintiffs claim their advertisement with its brand ambassador and the catch phrase 'Car Becho Best Price Mein' was in existence much prior in time since July 2017 whereas the disparaging advertisement of the defendant was started on or about 27th April, 2018. According to the plaintiffs, the disparaging advertisement has been created keeping the plaintiffs’ advertisement in mind, with malafide and dishonest intention to ridicule, slander, disparage and show the plaintiffs and its brand ambassador in bad light by similar tagline/catch phrase in the same colour combination, font and style of the tagline as that of the plaintiffs’; body language and posture of their mascot in the impugned advertisement is identical to that of the brand ambassador in the plaintiffs’ advertisement; the manner of pointing index finger of the right hand towards the viewer of the advertisement is also identical; and the mascot in the defendant’s disparaging advertisement is donning an identical black colour blazer as that of the plaintiffs’ brand ambassador.

5. During the course of hearing dated 03rd July, 2018, the parties agreed to make an endeavour to resolve the matter. The parties met on 06th July, 2018 and 09th July, 2018. On 10th July, 2018, both the parties informed this Court that they have narrowed down their differences and the defendant agreed to modify their advertisement to the proposed advertisement marked as Annexure ‘A’. However, the plaintiffs insisted that the defendant should delete the words 'DON’T BE A BAKRA' which was not acceptable to the defendant. Relevant portion of the order dated 10th July, 2018 is reproduced hereunder:

'1. Learned senior counsels for the parties submit that the parties had a meeting with their counsels yesterday in which the differences have further narrowed down.

2. Learned senior counsel for the defendant submits that without prejudice to the defendant’s rights and contentions, the defendant proposed to modify their advertisement to put an end to this litigation. The copy of the modified advertisement is handed over and taken on record. The copy of the proposed advertisement handed over by the defendant is marked as 'Mark A'.

3. Learned senior counsel for the plaintiff submits that the words 'DONT BE A BAKRA' in the proposed modified advertisement is not acceptable to the plaintiff.

4. Since the parties are not able to agree on the inclusion/exclusion of the words 'DONT BE A BAKRA', learned senior counsels for the parties submit that the matter be heard and adjudicated.'

6. Mark ‘A’ mentioned in the order dated 10th July, 2018 is reproduced hereunder:

'IMAGE'

7. Mr.Anil Sapra, learned senior counsel for the plaintiffs urged at the time of the hearing that use of words 'DON’T BE A BAKRA' refers to the plaintiffs and disparages the plaintiffs’ advertisement and would give an impression to the public that the plaintiffs are fooling them with false promises. The disparaging advertisement prompts the public not to become a ‘Bakra’, which means not to be fooled with false promises by the plaintiffs and its brand ambassador are making false promises and fooling the customers. Insistence of the defendant to refer to catch phrases and similar tagline as that of the plaintiffs reflects the malafide and dishonest intentions of seeking to continue the disparagement. Reliance is placed on Reckitt Colman of India Ltd. v. M.P. Ramchandran, MANU/WB/0476/1998, Reckitt & Colman of India Ltd. v. Kiwi T.T.K. Ltd., MANU/DE/0744/1996, Pepsi Co., Inc. v. Hindustan Coca-Cola Ltd., MANU/DE/0896/2003 and Dabur India Ltd. v. Colgate Palmolive India Ltd., MANU/DE/0657/2004.

8. Mr. Amit Sibal, learned senior counsel for the defendant urged at the time of the hearing that the defendant has the registered trademark of a cartoon goat of 5.5 feet carrying a placard on which its written, 'DON’T BE A BAKRA' ‘OBV’ and the defendant is using its registered mark since 2016 in various print and digital advertisements. The registered trademark of defendant is reproduced hereunder:

'IMAGE'

9. The plaintiffs contention that the defendant’s advertisement only ran from July 2017 onwards, is disputed by the defendant. The use of the word ‘Bakra’ with the placard creates an association with the defendant’s services and in no manner disparages the plaintiff’s services. The impugned advertisement did not make a reference to the plaintiffs’ services, even the proposed modified advertisement does not denigrate the plaintiffs’ services. The placard, which is a part of the defendant’s registered trademark, is intended to give a positive message to the public at large and to encourage potential users of its services to make an informed choice in the unorganized market. There is no comparison with the plaintiffs’ services or any reference to it and there can be no disparagement. The defendant by its proposed advertisement only seeks to use its registered mark with the tagline 'Car Becho Sahi Price Mein' comprising of words which are generic and common to the trade of used or second hand car business/market and have changed the font style and colour scheme and do not refer to the services of the plaintiffs in any manner. In any case, no statement has been made which is untrue or misleading. The parties cannot be hypersensitive and advertisers should be granted creative latitude to ensure promotion of a robust market for trade. Due credit is to be given to the public to discern and differentiate between products/services as today’s consumers are vigilant and aware of their rights. Reliance is placed on Reckitt Benckiser v. Cavin Kare Pvt. Ltd., 2007 (35) PTC 317 (Del.), HUL v. Cavincare Private Limited, 2010 (44) PTC 270 (Del.), Dabur v. Colortek Meghalaya Pvt. Ltd., 2010 (44) PTC 254 (Del.) (DB), Marico v. Adani Wilmar , 2013 (54) PTC 515 (Del.) and Dabur India Ltd. v. Wipro Limited, 2006 (32) PTC 677 (Del.).

10. On careful consideration of the rival contentions of the parties, this Court is of the view that the defendant has fairly given up colour combination, font and style of the tagline, body language and posture of their mascot in the impugned advertisement and the proposed advertisement Mark-A submitted b

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y the parties before this Court on 10th July, 2018 does not disparage or denigrate the business services, goodwill, reputation and trademark/trade line of the plaintiffs. The defendant’s use of the words 'DON’T BE A BAKRA' does not refer to the plaintiffs and does not denigrate the plaintiffs’ services. Rather the words 'DON’T BE A BAKRA' is a part of the defendant’s trademark. The defendant has not made any reference to the plaintiffs in the proposed advertisement, Mark-A. 11. The defendant is permitted to continue with the proposed advertisement Mark-A, reproduced in paragraph 5 above during the pendency of the suit. Defendant is also permitted to use the words 'DON’T BE A BAKRA' in their advertisement during the pendency of the suit. Application is disposed of in the above terms.
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