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Criminal Proceeding Dropped As Dispute Relating To Trademark Is Civil Dispute

The present legal article delves into the intricacies of a Criminal Revision filed against an order dated 16.01.2019 in Shyampukur P.S. E.B. case No. 28 of 2009 by the Learned Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Calcutta. The case involves allegations under Sections 120B/420 of the Indian Penal Code and Sections 103, 104 of the Trade Mark Act, 1999.

Factual Background:
The complainant, a manufacturer of coaltar using the trade name "Anchor" with specific color and artwork, conducts business in Kolkata. The trade mark was initially registered in the name of Aruna Banerjee, subsequently assigned to the complainant. On 3rd May 2008, the petitioner discovered that the opposite party began copying the identical trade mark with the intention of capturing the market.

Legal Proceedings:
The complainant initiated proceedings by filing an application under Section 156(3) Cr.P.C., alleging inadequacies in the investigation. Subsequently, on 11th April 2016, a petition for reinvestigation was filed, leading to its rejection and the subsequent filing of the Criminal Revision.

High Court Decision:
The Hon'ble High Court of Calcutta rejected the Criminal Revision, asserting that the dispute primarily relates to trademark/copyright and falls within the definition of a "commercial dispute" under Section 2(1)(c)(xvii) of the Commercial Courts Act, 2015. The court noted that a title suit had already been instituted by the petitioner against the opposite party, which is sub judice.

Legal Analysis:
The key legal question revolves around the characterization of the dispute. The High Court correctly identified it as a commercial dispute, emphasizing that it pertains to trademark and copyright issues. By invoking the Commercial Courts Act, the court clarified that such matters are inherently civil in nature.

Further, the court highlighted the existence of a pending title suit, indicating that the petitioner had sought legal recourse through the appropriate civil channels. The rejection of the Criminal Revision implies that the attempt to initiate criminal proceedings was viewed as an attempt to harass the opposite party, possibly for strategic reasons.

The Concluding Note:
The legal analysis underscores the importance of correctly categorizing disputes, particularly those involving intellectual property rights. In this case, the High Court's decision to classify the matter as a civil dispute aligns with the nature of the allegations. The rejection of the Criminal Revision reaffirms the significance of pursuing appropriate legal remedies and channels for dispute resolution in line with the nature of the dispute.

The Case Law Discussed:
Case Title: Sri Amaresh Banerjee vs The State Of West Bengal
Date of Judgement/Order:15.01.2024
Case No. CRR No.1005 of 2019
Neutral Citation: NA
Name of Hon'ble Court: Calcutta High Court
Name of Hon'ble Judge: Shampa Dutt Paul, 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 herein.

Written By: Advocate Ajay Amitabh Suman, IP Adjutor - Patent and Trademark Attorney
Email: [email protected], Ph no: 9990389539

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