This legal article delves into the intricacies of a trademark infringement
case, specifically focusing on the application of the doctrine of res ipsa
loquitur. The case under consideration involves the Plaintiff, a prominent
player in the toiletries industry using the trademark 'WOW,' and the Defendants
accused of copying not only the mark but also the entire trade dress, get-up,
and other distinctive elements associated with the Plaintiff's products.
The Hon'ble Court, recognizing the apparent imitation, granted an injunction in
favor of the Plaintiff. This article provides a detailed analysis of the case,
exploring the principles of res ipsa loquitur and their application in the
context of trademark law.
The Plaintiff in this case has been utilizing the trademark 'WOW' for
toiletries and a diverse range of products, including supplements, herbal
blends, creams, serums, lotions, shampoos, bath & body products, and essential
oils since 2014. The legal dispute arose when the Plaintiff discovered the
Defendants marketing their hair care products under the marks 'VBRO' and 'WQVV'
on various e-commerce platforms. The crux of the Plaintiff's grievance lies in
the alleged extensive imitation of not only the trademarks but also the entire
trade dress, get-up, and writing style associated with the 'WOW' products.
Res Ipsa Loquitur: Unveiling the Doctrine in Trademark Infringement:
The Latin maxim "res ipsa loquitur" translates to "the thing speaks for itself."
In legal terms, it is a doctrine often applied in negligence cases, where the
very occurrence of an event implies negligence. In the realm of trademark law,
res ipsa loquitur is invoked when the imitation is so blatant and evident that
it requires no further explanation. The doctrine allows the court to infer
wrongful intent based on the conspicuous similarity between the products or
The Plaintiff's Allegations and Court's Observations:
The Plaintiff contends that the Defendants have not only copied the 'WOW'
trademarks but have also replicated the entire trade dress, get-up, lay out,
color combination, and writing style associated with the Plaintiff's products.
The Hon'ble Court, in granting the injunction, explicitly noted that the case is
one of res ipsa loquitur, where the imitation is unmistakably clear. The
containers and products offered by the Defendants were deemed almost complete
imitations of the Plaintiff's products.
Establishing Infringement Through Res Ipsa Loquitur:
For the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur to apply in trademark infringement, the
similarities between the Plaintiff's and Defendants' products must be so
striking that it raises a presumption of intentional copying. The court, in this
case, acknowledged the apparent likeness in trade dress, get-up, and color
combination, reinforcing the idea that the imitation was so evident that no
further evidence of intent was required.
Implications and Precedent:
The decision in WOW Toiletries v. VBRO-WQVV
sets a precedent for cases
involving blatant trademark infringement. The application of res ipsa loquitur
in the realm of trade dress and product imitation serves as a powerful tool for
protecting the rights of trademark owners. The ruling emphasizes that when the
evidence of copying is so apparent, the court may rely on the doctrine to
expedite the resolution of trademark disputes.
The Concluding Note:
The case under discussion highlights the potency of res ipsa loquitur in
trademark infringement cases, particularly when the imitation is glaringly
evident. The court's decision to grant an injunction in favor of the Plaintiff
reinforces the significance of protecting the distinctive elements associated
with a trademark.
The Case Law Discussed:
Case Title: Body Cupid Pvt. Ltd. Vs MS VBRO Skincare Pvt. Ltd. and Ors
Date of Judgement/Order:13.12.2023
Case No. CS Comm 883 of 2023
Neutral Citation No:2023:DHC;8969
Name of Hon'ble Court: Delhi High Court
Name of Hon'ble Judge: Prathiba M Singh HJ
Ideas, thoughts, views, information, discussions and interpretation expressed
herein are being shared in the public Interest. Readers' discretion is advised
as these are subject to my subjectivity and may contain human errors in
perception, interpretation and presentation of the fact and issue involved
Written By: Advocate Ajay Amitabh Suman
, IP Adjutor - Patent and
Email: [email protected]
, Ph no: 9990389539