This article discusses the significance of the Local Commissioner's report in
assessing damages in a trademark infringement case, with reference to a recent
judgment by the Hon'ble High Court of Delhi.
The PUMA Trademark Infringement Lawsuit:
The Plaintiff in this case filed a lawsuit against the Defendants, alleging
trademark infringement and passing off. The Plaintiff asserted proprietor rights
in the well-known PUMA trademark, as well as the iconic leaping cat device. The
Defendants were found to be selling counterfeit PUMA products, leading to the
infringement suit. The Defendants were initially restrained ex-parte, and as
they failed to file a written statement, the suit was decreed in favor of the
In the aftermath of the decree in favor of the Plaintiff, a key question
emerged: how should damages be evaluated based on the evidence available? This
is where the role of the Local Commissioner's report becomes crucial.
The Hon'ble High Court of Delhi relied on a recent judgment in "M L Brother LLP
v. Mahesh Kumar Bhrualal Tanna [CS(COMM) 126/2022]". The judgment cited Order
26, Rule 10(2) of the Civil Procedure Code (CPC), which stipulates that the
report of the Commissioner and the evidence taken by the Commissioner shall be
evidence in the suit and shall form part of the record. This provision
establishes the evidentiary value of the Local Commissioner's report.
"In light of this legal provision, the Hon'ble High Court of Delhi confirmed
that the Local Commissioner's report can be considered as evidence in the case,
thereby enabling the court to rely on it for the purpose of assessing damages."
The Local Commissioner's Report:
The court turned to the Local Commissioner's report to evaluate the damages
suffered by the Plaintiff due to the Defendants' infringing activities. The
report revealed critical information, including the Defendant's average weekly
sales and the duration of their involvement in the infringing business.
According to the report, the Defendant's average weekly sale amounted to 200
pairs of shoes, resulting in a weekly revenue of Rs. 40,000 and a monthly
revenue of Rs. 1,60,000. The Defendant informed the Local Commissioner that they
had been engaged in this infringing business for the last two years.
Accordingly, the report estimated that the unauthorized 'PUMA' marked shoes had
been sold for a total of 24 months, with a total revenue of Rs. 38,40,000.
The Hon'ble Court observed that considering the costs of raw materials and other
expenses were approximately 50% of the revenue, the Defendant was found to have
made a profit of approximately Rs. 18 to Rs. 19 lakhs.
Decree of Damages:
Based on the information provided in the Local Commissioner's report, the
Hon'ble High Court of Delhi awarded a decree of damages. The court ordered the
Defendants to pay Rs. 10 lakhs as damages, in addition to an extra cost of Rs. 2
The Concluding Note:
The recent judgment in this case, emphasizing the evidentiary value of the Local
Commissioner's report, demonstrates the importance of reliable evidence in
calculating damages in such cases. It underlines the courts' ability to use
comprehensive reports to assess the financial harm incurred by the plaintiff
and, in doing so, ensures that justice is served in trademark infringement
The Case Law Discussed:
Case Title: Puma SE Vs Ashok Kumar
Date of Judgement/Order:20/10/2023
Case No. CS(COMM) 703/2017
Neutral Citation No: 2023:DHC:7696
Name of Hon'ble Court: High Court of Delhi
Name of Hon'ble Judge:Prathiba M Singh, H.J.
Information and discussion contained herein is being shared in the public
Interest. The same should not be treated as substitute for expert advice as it
is subject to my subjectivity and may contain human errors in perception,
interpretation and presentation of the fact and issue involved herein.
Written By: Advocate Ajay Amitabh Suman
, IP Adjutor - Patent and
Email: [email protected]
, Ph no: 9990389539