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India: Delhi High Court awards punitive damages to the tune of INR 300,000

November 14, 2017

A Single Bench of the Delhi High Court consisting of the Hon’ble Justice Sanjiv Khanna passed an order dated September 25, 2017, inter alia, awarding punitive damages for trademark infringement vis-à-vis counterfeiting.

Since its founding in 1940, Ahuja Radios has developed into one of India’s leading manufacturer & exporter of Public Address Equipments. Ahuja Radios (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Plaintiffs’) has numerous registrations for “AHUJA” formative trademarks in Class 09 –

The Plaintiff had stated that it is the largest manufacturer of Public Address Systems (PAS) in India, and that it has been selling PAS equipment under the trade mark AHUJA since 1940. In this regard, it is pertinent to note that the Plaintiff has a registration over the word mark “AHUJA” in Class 09 vide application no. 136189 dated November 06, 1948, claiming use since December 01, 1936. They also stated that their PAS products are exported to over 50 countries. It has also been stated that the Plaintiff’s amplifier model SSB120 is one of their best selling products.

Brief facts of the case

The Plaintiff had conducted a market sweep in Mumbai in August 2014. During the course of investigation/survey, it was discovered that H.K. Sound Electronics (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Defendants’) were selling counterfeit AHUJA PAS products. Thereafter, the investigators procured a counterfeit amplifier from the Defendant, which was under the model number SSB 120. As regarding the counterfeit product, it was noted that –

  • It had some features of the original SSB 120
  • The price of the counterfeit was less than that of the original.
  • Absence of date of manufacturing and MRP on the packaging.
  • Spelling errors on the label printed at the reverse side.
  • Discrepancy in the serial number of the product.
  • Inferior quality of the product, as compared to the original SSB 120.

Original AHUJA RADIOS SSB 120 (From the website
www.ahujaradios.com

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