HC restrains Jubilant Co from infringing Pidilite’s trademarks

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Bombay-HCHolding that it was a case of an infringement of copyright and passing off goods in someone else’s name, the Bombay High Court has restrained M/s Jubilant Agri & Consumer Products Ltd from using the registered trademarks of M/s Pidilite Industries Ltd.

The order was passed on January 13 by Justice S J Kathawala on a suit filed by Pidilite Industries Ltd seeking to restrain Jubilant Agri and Consumer Products Ltd from using its registered trademark as its own.

The infringement alleged by the plaintiff (Pidilite) related to three registered trademarks (two word marks “Fevicol Marine’ and one label mark showing two elephants pulling an object in opposite directions).

According to Pidilite, the defendant company, by using the mark ‘JIVANJOR MARINE PLUS’ was infringing upon its (Pidilite’s) registered mark and was also guilty of passing off their goods as that of the Plaintiff.

Jubilant Agri & Consumer Products Ltd contended that the Pidilite’s mark is ‘FEVICOL MARINE’ and their (Jubilant’s) mark is ‘IVANJOR MARINE PLUS’ and that both the Plaintiff and the Defendant are using the word ‘MARINE’ in a descriptive manner.

The main defence of the Defendant was that the word ‘MARINE’ is inherently descriptive, is devoid of any distinctive character, is incapable of being registered as trademark and, therefore, cannot be claimed to be a trademark of the plaintiff even though it formed part of the registered trademark/label mark ‘FEVICOL MARINE’.

“Upon perusal of all the three registered marks, I am prima facie satisfied that the word ‘MARINE’ forms a prominent and essential part or feature of all the three registered trademarks set out in the plaintiff’s suit”, said the Judge.

The court held that the defendant had tried to take advantage of the reputation of the plaintiff not only by the use of the mark ‘MARINE’/’MARINE PLUS’ but also by the use of the copied impugned label and hence cannot be allowed to rely upon the alleged use of the mark ‘MARINE’ on other grounds.