At, High Court of Judicature at Bombay
By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE S.J. KATHAWALLA
For the Plaintiffs: Ms. Blossom Noronha i/b M/s. Jehangir Gulabbhai & Bilmoria & Daruwalla, Advocates. For the Defendants: None.
Heard the Learned Advocate appearing for the Plaintiffs. None for the Defendants though served. In fact, when service was sought to be effected through Court on one of the partners of the Defendants, his son refused to accept service on the ground that his father is in Saudi Arabia. A report to this effect submitted by the Master (Adm.), Board Department dated 19th June 2012 is on record.
2. The present suit is filed by the Plaintiffs to prevent the Defendants from indulging in wrongful actions and continuing wrongs by (i) infringing the registered label marks "SOCIETY TEA" of the Plaintiffs in relation to Tea and using the same on wrappers, pouches and packets; (ii) infringing the distinctive get-up, colour scheme, scheme of arrangement and lay out, inter alia, of the device of cups and saucers and Rupee 1 in English and Devnagari of the registered copyright No.A-52454/94 of the Plaintiffs and (iii) passing off and/or enabling others to pass of the Defendants wrappers, pouches and packets under the trade mark "SAHIL" as and for those of the Plaintiffs and/or any other wrappers, pouches, and packets deceptively similar to label trade mark and/or original artistic work of the Plaintiffs and for other reliefs.
3. The Plaintiffs, with a view to acquire statutory protection, applied for and obtained registration for their artistic label marks in hues of blue and green with, inter alia, the device of cups and saucers and Rupee 1 under a series of "Society Tea" trade marks in English and Devnagari and same has been accepted and registered by the Registrar of Trade Marks under Nos. 530893, 576063, 576065 and 1622985 in respect of tea and coffee falling in Class 30. The aforesaid trade marks are registered trade marks and are duly renewed and are valid and subsisting. Copies of the relevant registration certificates are annexed by the Plaintiffs to the Plaint and the same are marked Exhibit A-1 to A-4.
4. The Plaintiffs also applied for registration of Copyright under the Copyright Act, 1957 of their said distinctive original artistic work in hues of blue. The Registrar of Copyrights registered the said original artistic work under Registration No.A-52454/94 dated 20.01.1994. A photo copy of the extract from Register of Copyright in respect of the said original artistic work dated 20.01.1994 is annexed and marked Exhibit B to the Plaint.
5. The Plaintiffs are the owners of the copyright of their distinctive original artistic work in hues of green colour scheme since 1992 which is the subject matter of the present notice. A coloured label of the distinctive artistic work in hues of green colour scheme as used by the Plaintiffs is annexed and marked Exhibit C to the Plaint.
6. The essential features of the Society Tea wrappers/pouches/packets which is the subject matter of the present Suit and sold in packets of 4g Dust Tea are in detail set out in paragraph 8 of the Plaint.
7. The Plaintiffs have, in paragraph 10 of the Plaint, reproduced a coloured photocopy of the Plaintiffs' wrappers/pouches/packets in juxtaposition with the Defendants' wrappers/pouches/packets. A look at the said wrapper/pouch/packet supports the Plaintiffs' contention that the wrapper/pouch/packet of the Defendants is deceptively similar to and indeed a slavish imitation of the Plaintiffs' "SOCIETY" label/wrappers/pouch likely to cause confusion and deception amongst the public and the trade. The Plaintiffs are also correct in their submission that by printing and using of the word "SAHIL" on labels/wrappers/pouches for tea, the Defendants have committed an infringement of the registered trade marks of the Plaintiffs (Exhibit A-1 to A-4 to the Plaint) all of which are registered in tea in Class 30 as well as infringement of copyright and passing of the Defendants' goods as and for those of the Plaintiffs'. In view thereof, the Plaintiffs have made out more than a prima-facie case in their favour and ar
Please Login To View The Full Judgment!
e therefore entitled to ad-interim reliefs as sought. The balance of convenience is also in favour of the Plaintiffs and against the Defendants. Ad-interim relief is therefore granted to the Plaintiffs in terms of prayer Clauses (a), (b) and (c) of the Notice of Motion. 8. In the event of the Defendants being aggrieved by this order, they may move this Court for appropriate reliefs after issuing notice to Advocates for the Plaintiffs.