-Report by Srishti
Delhi High Court in the case of LOUIS VUITTON MALLETIER Vs SANTOSH & ORS. on April 18 passed an ex parte decision imposing a permanent injunction to restrain the defendant from using the plaintiff’s trademark for manufacturing and selling goods and granted other temporary reliefs.
The plaintiff company Louis Vuitton Malletier was set up in France and is a Frenchluxury fashion and leather goods company owning the brand named Louis Vuitton. In 2003, it established its first store in India and currently, there are three stores of the plaintiff in India. It uses its trademark ‘LV’ from the initials of the name of its owner Louis Vuitton. The plaintiff has been using its canvas designs since 1986 popularly known as ‘ Toile monogram’. The plaintiff has also registered its trademarks, ‘the LV’, ‘the Toile monogram pattern’, ‘the Damier pattern’, and ‘theLV flower pattern’. Their ‘LV’ trademark has also been included in the list of ‘well-known trademarks’ by the Indian Trademark Office.
Through the periodical market surveys in 2018, theplaintiff came to know about the selling and manufacturing of goods under histrademark by the defendant. Therefore the plaintiff appointed an investigator toascertain the activities of the defendant and the same was confirmed by theinvestigator. Accordingly, the suit was filed in the court for granting a permanentinjunction to restrain the defendant.
While keeping in view the irreversible damages that canbe caused to the plaintiff, the court on 23rd February 2018 granted an interiminjunction against the defendant until the delivery of the final order. Hence, thedefendant was temporarily restrained from using the registered trademarks of the plaintiff. Also, three local commissions were set up to seize the manufactured products by the defendant under the trademarks of the plaintiff.
1) The assertions made by the plaintiff had not been rebutted and therefore, it was established that the defendant was aware of his illegal acts.
2) He had proved his goodwill and his reputation in respect of the trademarksby registration of the same.
3) He also succeeded in establishing statutory and common law rights as he was using his ‘LV’ trademark for a long time.
Since the defendant was not appearing in the court despite summons, theplaintiff pleaded for a permanent injunction.
The defendant did not appear in court despite the service of a summons andalso, no written statements were filed by him.
The court while referring to Hindustan Lever Ltd. Vs . Satish Kumar held ‘since, the defendant has maintained silence, therefore, the guilt of the defendantspeaks for itself’. Hence, it is evident that he’s aware of his illegal acts and has failed to contend the case on merits. Therefore, to avoid further irrevocable damages and to avoid deterioration of the plaintiff’s reputation, the court granted a permanent injunction against the defendant.
The defendants were ordered to provide compensation ofRs.5,00,000. to the plaintiff. As per the volume of seizure products, they were further liable to provide compensation of Rs.1,50,000 and the defendants engaged in manufacturing such products were made liable to compensateRs.3,50,000 in favour of the plaintiff. In total, Rs.9,59,413 was granted to the plaintiff which included fees of local commissions, court fees, and legal fees.
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