A manufacturer has been restrained from using CRAX ‘CURLS’ trademark for producing and selling corn-based snacks. The court apprehended that the customers can be easily deceived as the products are being sold at a lower price in the small shops.
Justice Navin Chawla pointed out that the mark ‘Kurvy’ and the packaging adopted by the manufacturer prima facie appeared deceptively similar to the registered trademark ‘CURLS’ by Crax.
What is the issue?
Crax filed an application of trademark infringement before the Delhi HC against an identical mark used by another corn-based snacks manufacturing entity.
The petition explained that Crax launched the product ‘CURLS’ in December 2016 which was a nationwide launch in March 2017. The sale increased tremendously between 2016 to 2021. The company made a sale of around Rs. 15,000 lakhs in 2020-2021.
The petition showed grievance that the defendant though changed the previous package which was using the ‘CURLS’ trademark and adopted the new trademark of ‘KURVY’, but still, the packaging and trademark are deceptively similar to that of Crax.
What is trademark infringement?
Trademark infringement is explained in Section 29 of the Trademark Act 1999 as a defined use of a mark, for any other goods or service, in an identical or deceptively similar manner, by an authorized or unauthorized person.
In a simpler way, it is defined as the violation of exclusive rights that are attached to a registered trademark without the permission of the registered owner or licensees.
A registered trademark is said to be infringed in case of the following situation:
- If the concerned mark is identical with or deceptively similar to the registered trademark. It is applicable only when both the entities are in relation to the same or similar goods or services;
- When the identical or similar mark has the potential to cause confusion in the minds of the consumer of the goods or services.
- In case there is an advertisement using the trademark, which can result in an unfair advantage or is contrary to honest practices.
- If the registered trademark is used in the material meant for packaging or labeling of other goods or as a business paper without due authorization of the registered user.
The punishment for infringement of trademarks as a result of falsification shall not be less than six months but may extend to three years and with a fine which shall not be less than fifty thousand rupees but which may extend to two lakh rupees.