The realm of intellectual property rights is vital for fostering innovation and
ensuring fair competition. Trademarks serve as essential tools in this framework
by providing businesses with exclusive rights over their distinct signs,
symbols, and names. The case between 'DIABLISS' and 'DIABEAT' before Delhi High
Court epitomizes the significance of protecting these rights and the
consequences of their infringement.
This petition has been filed for removal of the trademark DIABEAT bearing
registration No.3664179 in Class 30 in the name of the respondent OVERRA FOODS and rectification of the Register of Trade Marks under Sections 57/125 of the
Trade Marks Act, 1999. The Petitioner herein /plaintiff, who produces a
diabetic-friendly sugar under the registered trademark 'DIABLISS', accused the
Respondent/ defendant of marketing a strikingly similar product named 'DIABEAT'
earlier filed a Suit before Madras High Court.
Not only did the defendant mimic
the name, but the packaging and trade dress also bore a close resemblance. Such
actions undoubtedly posed a significant risk of consumer confusion, potentially
diluting the distinctiveness of the plaintiff's mark. In suit before Madras High
Court , interim Injunction was granted in favour of Petitioner herein/Plaintiff
Recognizing the potential harm caused by the defendant's actions, the Madras
High Court initially granted an injunction in favor of the plaintiff. This
preliminary relief underscored the court's immediate recognition of the apparent
similarities between the two marks and the potential for market confusion. This
order was the main guiding factor , which resulted in allowance of present
The Doctrine of Malafide and Dishonesty:
Central to the court's subsequent decision was the finding that the defendant's
actions were "a mala fide and dishonest attempt to cause confusion in the
market." The term 'mala fide' signifies bad faith, implying that the defendant
intentionally sought to exploit the reputation and goodwill associated with the
'DIABLISS' mark. Such dishonest conduct is antithetical to the principles
underpinning trademark law, which seeks to protect both consumers and legitimate
businesses from deceptive practices.
Grounds for Removal of 'DIABEAT' Trademark:
The court's decision to order the removal of the 'DIABEAT' trademark stemmed
from a comprehensive assessment of various factors:
The Concluding Note:
- Likelihood of Confusion: The similarities in the names, packaging, and trade dress between 'DIABLISS' and 'DIABEAT' created a substantial likelihood of confusion among consumers, thereby undermining the distinctiveness and exclusivity associated with the 'DIABLISS' mark.
- Infringement of Registered Trademark: By replicating key elements of the 'DIABLISS' mark, the defendant infringed upon the plaintiff's registered trademark rights, thereby violating the statutory protections afforded under the relevant intellectual property laws.
- Prevention of Unfair Competition: Beyond mere trademark infringement, the defendant's actions constituted unfair competition by capitalizing on the plaintiff's goodwill and reputation in the market. Such conduct erodes trust and undermines the principles of fair competition, necessitating judicial intervention to rectify the imbalance.
The 'DIABLISS' v/s. 'DIABEAT' case serves as a poignant reminder of the critical
role played by trademark law in safeguarding businesses' intellectual property
rights and preserving fair competition in the marketplace.
The Case Law Discussed:
Case Title: Diabliss Consumer Products Pvt.Ltd. Vs Overra Foods
Date of Judgement/Order:05.01.2024
Case No. C.O. (COMM.IPD-TM) 307/2022
Neutral Citation: NA
Name of Hon'ble Court: Delhi High Court
Name of Hon'ble Judge: Anish Dayal, H.J.
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