22 December 2016

Design infringement – minor variations are not sufficient defence

Bombay High Court has, in a case of design infringement and passing off, granted an interim injunction order in favour of the plaintiffs. The case pertained to a design registration on copper tubes obtained by the plaintiffs, which the defendants, who were previously associated with the Plaintiffs, were allegedly infringing. The Court on 6-12-2016 observed that in comparing rival designs a Court would look into substantial similarity or see whether there are substantial differences. Minor variants are not considered significant for the purposes of such comparison.

The Court in this regard perused copies of advertisements, randomly drawn invoices, statements of sales and expenses of the plaintiff, and the test certificate of an expert and held that there was a prima facie case of infringement owing to the similarity in the designs of the copper tubes sold by the plaintiffs and defendants.


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