Facts of the Case:
Marico Industries Limited (Plaintiff No. 1) and The Bombay Oil Industries
Limited (Plaintiff No. 2) filed a lawsuit against Radhen Corporation (Defendant
No. 1) and Saurab Chandiwalla (Defendant No. 2) for copyright and trademark
infringement, as well as passing off. The plaintiffs alleged that the defendants
were manufacturing and selling coconut oil under the mark "Parapure" in
packaging that closely resembled the plaintiffs' products. The plaintiffs
claimed to be the rightful owners of the trademarks and copyrights associated
with the "Parachute" brand, which they had been using extensively for their
edible oil products.
- The case was presented before the High Court of Judicature at Bombay,
under the Ordinary Original Civil Jurisdiction. The bench consisted of
Justice S.J. Kathawalla.
- Whether the defendants had infringed upon the plaintiffs' copyrights and
- Whether the defendants' use of the mark "Parapure" and similar packaging
amounted to passing off.
The plaintiffs argued that they were the registered proprietors of the
trademarks and copyrights associated with the "Parachute" brand. They contended
that their products, packaged in distinctive blue containers with specific
artistic works and color schemes, had gained distinctiveness and goodwill in the
market. The plaintiffs claimed exclusive rights to the use of the "Parachute"
mark and its associated packaging, as they had extensively advertised and
promoted their products under that brand.
The court considered the evidence presented by the plaintiffs, including the
testimony of Vikram Raj, the legal manager of Plaintiff No. 1. The plaintiffs
provided details of their trademark registrations and the assignments of
trademarks and copyrights from Plaintiff No. 2 to Plaintiff No. 1. They also
presented sales figures and advertising expenditures to demonstrate the
reputation and goodwill associated with the "Parachute" brand.
The court noted that the defendants had previously been involved in a similar
case where they had given an undertaking to cease using a deceptively similar
mark and packaging. However, the defendants had allegedly resumed infringing
activities under the new mark "Parapure." The court considered the similarities
between the defendants' packaging and the plaintiffs' packaging, including the
use of blue, green, and white colors.
The court applied the principles of copyright and trademark law to assess the
alleged infringements. It examined the distinctiveness of the plaintiffs'
packaging, the likelihood of confusion among consumers, and the defendants'
intent to deceive. The court also considered the previous criminal case against
the defendants and the undertakings they had given to cease infringing
Based on the evidence and legal principles, the court concluded that the
defendants had indeed infringed upon the plaintiffs' copyrights and trademarks.
The defendants' use of the mark "Parapure" and packaging that closely resembled
the plaintiffs' products amounted to passing off. The court highlighted the
defendants' deceptive actions and disregard for their earlier undertakings.
In conclusion, the court granted an ex-parte decree in favor of the plaintiffs,
holding the defendants liable for copyright and trademark infringement, as well
as passing off. The court likely issued injunctions against the defendants to
prevent further infringing activities and may have awarded damages or other
remedies to the plaintiffs.
This case serves as a reminder of the importance of protecting intellectual
property rights and the consequences of infringement. It highlights the court's
role in safeguarding the rights of trademark and copyright owners and
maintaining fairness and integrity in the marketplace.