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06 December 2018

Cause of action under Designs Act distinct from that in a trademark suit

Delhi High Court has held that in a case where an infringement suit has already been filed under the Designs Act, there is no need to obtain the leave of the court to introduce a separate proceeding in the case of passing-off of trademark.

Reliance on Order II Rule 2 CPC in this regard was rejected by the court. Plea that the action of the plaintiff went against the basic intention of Parliament to avoid multiplicity of litigations between the parties, was also rejected observing that said Order bars a subsequent suit relating to the same cause of action only.

The Court in the case Greenlight Planet India Pvt. Ltd. v. Gee Lighting Technology opined that cause of action for an infringement suit under the Designs Act is different/separate/distinct from the cause of action for a passing off suit of a trade mark, trade name and domain name. It was held that there was no requirement for the plaintiff to obtain the leave of the Court to file a suit for a completely different cause of action.