BAJAJ’S LEGAL BATTLE AGAINST TRADEMARK INFRINGEMENT
Written By: Manaswini Mohapatra
Bajaj Electricals Ltd. is a duly incorporated company and comes well within the provisions of the Companies Act, 2013. It has been dealing with electrical appliances since 1938. The company has successfully become a well-known name in India.
The company owns a number of copyrights and trademarks which are duly registered under the Copyright Act, 1957, and the Trademark Act, 1999. The products of the company are distinguishable from the products of its competitors is because of the mark “BAJAJ”.
The company successfully started using the “BAJAJ” mark from 1961. The mark was declared as a well-known mark in Bajaj Electricals Ltd. v. Metals & Allied Products & Anr. A well-known mark is known by a substantial amount of public. Being such a well-known mark, the fear of IP infringement is always there and this requires the company to be vigilant towards any sort of infringement.
The Plaintiff in this case is Bajaj Electricals Ltd. and the Defendant is Gourav Bajaj. In January 2020, the company found out that the Defendant has filed trademark registration application for registering the disputed label which read, “Bajaj Excellent” and “Apna Bajaj Store”.
The Defendant was running two electronics shops in Abohar, Punjab under the name “Apna Bajaj Store” and was also operating a website with the domain name www.apnabajajstore.com. After preliminary examination of the Defendant’s application, the Registrar of Trademark stated that the Defendant’s marks are conflicting with the Plaintiff’s trademark. The Defendant failed to file a reply to the preliminary examination report.
Thereafter, an interim application was filed by the Plaintiff in the High Court of Bombay. Despite serving notice of the application to the Defendant, no one was present for the hearing from his side. The Plaintiff submitted that the Defendant has indulged in dishonest trade practice which is apparent from the use of the expression “Powered By: BAJAJ” by the Defendant, as use of this expression will indicate some form of association between the parties.
Since the Plaintiff has spent a lot of time, effort and money in promoting and advertising the artistic labels and the trademark, it has the exclusive right to associate those marks and labels with its own goods and services. In this case the Plaintiff requested for an interim injunction restraining the Defendant from using the mark and the domain name in order to stop infringing the Plaintiff’s registered trademark and copyright.
The Bombay High Court after listening to the arguments of the Plaintiff and examining all the exhibits submitted by the Plaintiff, came to the conclusion that the use of a mark deceptively similar to the Plaintiff’s mark, is a dishonest trade practice. In the Court’s view, the plaintiff would continue to suffer injury till relief is granted to it.
The Court granted the interim injunction to the Plaintiff, restraining the Defendant from conducting bussing by using the mark “Apna Bajaj Store”, “Bajaj Excellent”, the artistic labels, the domain name www.apnabajajstore.com and any other mark, label or domain name deceptively similar to the word “BAJAJ”.
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