The case involves a dispute between Maitri Enterprise and Uma International
over trademark infringement. The plaintiff, Uma International, alleged that the
defendants, Maitri Enterprise, were manufacturing and exporting counterfeit
products bearing the mark "OBAMA," which infringed upon the plaintiff's
trademark. The plaintiff obtained an ex-parte ad-interim order from the court,
leading to the seizure of the impugned goods by the court receiver. The
defendants filed an interim application seeking the vacation, setting aside,
variation, and modification of the ex-parte ad-interim order, as well as
permission to sell the impugned goods or export them under certain conditions.
Court: High Court of Judicature at Bombay
Jurisdiction: Ordinary Original Civil Jurisdiction
Date of Decision: June 22, 2023
The plaintiff obtained an ex-parte ad-interim order on September 7, 2022, which
resulted in the seizure of the impugned goods by the court receiver.
Subsequently, the court granted the plaintiff's superdari application, handing
over the seized goods to the plaintiff under the supervision of the court
receiver. The defendants filed the present interim application, seeking the
vacation, setting aside, variation, and modification of the ex-parte ad-interim
order and the subsequent superdari order.
Rules of Law:
- Whether the defendants were properly represented during the proceedings.
- Whether the ex-parte ad-interim order should be vacated, set aside,
varied, or modified.
- Whether the impugned goods should be allowed for sale or export under
Analysis and Reasoning:
- The court must consider the material on record to determine whether the
ex-parte ad-interim order was justified.
- The court must assess the merit of the defendants' claim that they were
not properly represented during the proceedings.
- The court must balance the interests of the plaintiff and its customers
when deciding whether to allow the sale or export of the impugned goods.
The court considered the arguments put forth by both parties. The defendants
claimed that they were not properly represented in the proceedings because their
former advocate was also representing the plaintiff before the Trademark
Registry. However, the court found that the objection raised by the defendants
was raised for the first time in the present application and lacked substance.
The court noted that the defendants' former advocates had appeared before the
court on previous dates after being served.
The court also considered the defendants' claim that the impugned goods were not
exported and that the ink in the pens would run dry by July 2023. However, the
court found that the ex-parte ad-interim order was passed after considering the
material on record, including evidence that the impugned products were
counterfeit. The court emphasized that allowing the sale of the impugned goods
would be detrimental to both the plaintiff and its customers.
Holding and Decision:
The court rejected the defendants' interim application, holding that there was
no merit in their claims. The court upheld the ex-parte ad-interim order and the
subsequent superdari order, and denied the defendants' request to sell or export
the impugned goods.
Implications and Significance:
The court's decision confirms the importance of proper representation in legal
proceedings and emphasizes the need to consider the interests of the plaintiff
and its customers in cases of trademark infringement. The ruling also highlights
the court's reluctance to allow the sale of counterfeit goods, even if certain
conditions are proposed.
The High Court of Judicature at Bombay rejected the defendants' interim
application and upheld the ex-parte ad-interim order and subsequent superdari
order. The court found that the defendants' claims of improper representation
lacked merit and that the impugned goods should not be allowed for sale or
export. The decision reaffirms the court's commitment to protecting intellectual
property rights and preventing the sale of counterfeit goods.