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April 2019

IPR Amicus: February 2019


Punitive damages in trademark infringement suits
by R. Parthasarathy and Gunjan Hans


In recent years, the grant of punitive damages in trademark infringement suits has evolved in India. There has been increase in the number of instances wherein the courts have awarded punitive damages as means to penalize nefarious defendants. Recently, the Delhi High Court, while disposing of a suit for trademark infringement and passing-off, awarded INR 18,500,000 as punitive damages. The case involved repeated misconduct and disregard of law on the part of the defendants who were habitual offenders, with a history of manufacturing counterfeits. The High Court was of the view that the conduct of the defendants in infringing the plaintiff’s trademark consciously, deliberately and wilfully for a period of more than 25 years was sufficient for allowing a decree of punitive damages to the plaintiffs...

Ratio decidendi

  • Design infringement – Prior publication and mere trade variation, fatal – Delhi High Court
  • Trademark - No infringement of words ‘Officer’s Choice’ by word ‘Fauji’ – Delhi High Court
  • Trademark - No exclusive meaning to term ‘BOOKMY’ – Delhi High Court
  • Use of mark ‘The TICER’ replicating mark ‘TIGER’ is a case of “chunking” – Delhi High Court
  • Copyright suit by owner who is not a copyright society, maintainable – Delhi High Court
  • Adoption of a mark even if done innocently does not confer any protection – Delhi High Court
  • Copyright suit is maintainable even if the plaintiff firm is unregistered – Delhi High Court

News Nuggets

  • Commercial suit valued up to Rs. 2 cr. to be transferred to District Court
  • Double bull and single bull device of Red Bull, are well-known trademarks
  • Myanmar: New Trademark and Industrial Design Law enacted
  • Morality, one of the grounds in granting registration to the trademark

February, 2019/Issue-89 February, 2019/Issue-89

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