August 24, 2015     

 Speed Breakers Installed by the Delhi High Court for Audi over Trademark “T.T.”

 

Image Source: http://www.audi.in

On July 21, 2015, the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi, in Rikhab Chand Jain & Anr. v. Audi A.G., has granted an ad-interim ex-parte injunction against Audi AG restraining them from using the trademark “T.T.” or any other trademark deceptively and/or phonetically similar to the Plaintiff’s trademark, pending the final outcome of the case.

 

Brief facts of the case:

  1. Rikhab Chand Jain and his firm, T.T. Industries (the Plaintiffs) filed a suit for infringement alongwith an application for ad-interim injunction against Audi AG (the Defendant) for infringing its registered trademark “T.T.”.

  2. The Plaintiffs claim to be the registered proprietors of the trademark “T.T.” in various classes and have been using this trademark since 1968, the first registration being in 1970.

  3. The Plaintiffs claim to have become aware of the Defendant using the trademark “T.T.” to promote various products such as leather and imitations of leather goods made of animal skins, hides; products such as trunks and travelling bags, umbrellas, parasols and walking sticks, whips, harness and saddler, games and playthings, model cars, gymnastic and sporting articles, decorations for Christmas trees.

  4. Hence, the Plaintiffs filed the said suit for trademark infringement against the Defendant.

  5. Pertinently, the Plaintiffs have also opposed several applications as well as filed rectification applications against the Defendant for the mark T.T. in multiple classes.

Plaintiffs’ Contentions:

  1. Plaintiffs have been using the trade mark “T.T.” since 1968 and has got 87 registrations for the said trademark, earliest registration stated to be in 1970.

  2. The Plaintiffs have contended that they are the registered proprietors of the trademark “T.T.” in India, and the originator, bona fide adopter and prior user of the same in respect of various goods and services coming under different classifications of the Fourth Schedule to the Trade Marks Rules, 2002

  3. The trade mark “T.T.” of the Plaintiffs is a well-known multi product global brand in 65 countries across the world.

  4. The Plaintiffs have spent Rs.7,57,84,961 for the period April 2012 - March 2013 on the promotions of the said trademark and their turnover for the same for the period April 2013 - March 2014 is Rs.7,54,57,26,494. The Defendant was ex-parte in this order.

Observation and Decision of the Hon’ble Court:

 

The bench comprising of Hon’ble Mr. Justice Najmi Waziri, after hearing the contentions of the Plaintiffs and relying upon the evidence put forward by them held the following:–

 

  1. Grant an ad interim ex-parte injunction in favour of the Plaintiffs as they were successful to prove a prima-facie case in their favour, and they will suffer irreparable losses if the injunction not granted, and the balance of convenience also lies in their favour.

  2. The Defendant i.e. Audi AG is restrained from manufacturing, selling, offering for sale, advertising, dealing directly or indirectly dealing in goods bearing the trademark “T.T.” or any other trademark which is deceptively similar and/or phonetically similar to the Plaintiffs’ trademark

  3. The Defendant i.e. Audi AG be also restrained from reproducing the trademark “T.T.” in any manner on the goods manufactured by them or on stationary, letter heads, guarantee cards, packing materials used by them.

The aforesaid order dated July 21, 2015 of the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi can be accessed by clicking here.

 

Conclusion

 

Trademark infringement suits have become very common and in the present case even Audi AG, which is a highly popular global brand itself, has been caught unawares on the less preferred side of a trademark infringement suit. However, on the strength of their global brand, Audi AG is likely to fight back with a bang.

 

 

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