21 June 2017

Trademark infringement – Distinction in services provided, is material

A Single Judge of the Delhi High Court has on 22-05-2017 vacated the earlier ex-parte interim injunction in a case involving trademark infringement where the mark “PINDROP” was used by the plaintiffs for recording studio business (class 41) and the mark “PINDROP MUSIC” was used by the defendants for an online application to provide music to consumers (class 42). The Court noted the distinction between the services of the plaintiff and that of the defendant, and also the fact that the plaintiff had suppressed, at the time of ex-parte interim injunction, that the defendant’s mark was registered. It was observed that even a layman while typing the word “Pindrop” on a Google application would have learnt about the status of the defendant company which shows that the “Pindrop Music” mobile application of the defendant has a registration.

Further, the quantum of expenses on advertisement, both by the plaintiff and the defendant, was taken into consideration by the court to hold that plaintiff had failed to make out a prima-facie case. It was also noted that Section 28(3) of the Trademarks Act does not permit infringement by one registered proprietor against another unless two conditions - the two registered marks are identical with or nearly resemble to each other; and they are in respect of same class and service, are satisfied. The court held that this was not so in the instant case. 


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