Trademark infringement is the uncertified use of the registered trademark by any person other than the registered holder. Trademark infringement occurs when a person uses an identical or confusingly similar mark to the registered trademark owned by any other person.
Basically, trademark infringement is the violation of the exclusive rights associated with the trademark without receiving the authorization of trademark owner or the licensee. In case of infringement of trademark, the owner of the trademark is empowered to proceed against the person who infringes the trademark. In India, there have been several famous cases of trademark infringement. Some of the trademark infringement cases are outlined below-
Case- 1- London Dairy V/s Londonderry
International Foodstuff Company is a Dubai based foodstuff company selling multiple flavors of ice creams under the trademark of “London Dairy”. The trademark London dairy was registered under class 30 since The Year 2001.
In 2011 a famous company named Parle products limited started to sell the boiled confectionery sweets under the mark "LONDONDERRY".
As soon as international foodstuff company (Plaintiff) become aware that the Parle Products limited (defendant) was using a trademark "LONDONDERRY" they filed the petition for an injunction on grounds of trade mark infringement. The basis for the petition by the plaintiff was that the phonetic sound of both the marks was similar. Also, the defendant was using the mark for class 30 in which plaintiff has already obtained the registration.
After hearing both the parties the court passed the decision that the objection petition filed by the plaintiff is not valid. The court held that everything apart from the phonetic sound of the mark is entirely different. Like visually there is nothing at all common between the two marks. Further, the Plaintiff's product is entirely distinct and it is packaged differently. In addition to this, there was a huge difference in their prices.
Case-2- Yahoo! Inc. v/s. Akash Arora and Anr.
In this case, a historic decision was passed by the Delhi High Court. As it was the first decision on the trademark protection of IP rights on the domain name.
As per the facts of this case, the plaintiff was the owner of the trademark “Yahoo” and domain name “Yahoo.com”. The defendant adopted the name “Yahoo India” for providing similar services like Yahoo. Plaintiff filed the petition on the basis that the trademark of the defendant was deceptively similar to Yahoo. They held that the defendants have tried to do cybersquatting by adopting a similar name.
In the underlying case, the court observed that both the trademarks were nearly identical and phonetically similar, thus there was every possibility that internet users would be confused and deceived into believing that the domain names had a common source or a connection.
Thus the decision was given in the favor of the plaintiff.
Case-3- Paytm v/s Paypal
A trademark infringement application was filed by the global payments company called Paypal against India’s biggest mobile wallet company Paytm. The application was based on the fact the logo used by PAYTM has the similar color scheme as the logo of Paypal and both the brand names start with the word Pay.
After considering the relevant facts and the point made by both the parties the relevant decision on this case will be passed in the court.
Case-4- Royal Enfield v/s Ebay.in
Royal Enfield, Enfield, Bullet is a trademark that is used by the Eicher Motors limited for selling Bikes. It is a leading automobile manufacturer company who sells various types of two wheelers, auto mobile parts and components.
They filed the petition against the defendant who was allegedly selling their products on ebay by using the registered trademarks of the plaintiff. The defendant was selling bike care products, apparels and other lifestyle/ related products such as riding gear, rain suits, caps, t-shirts, readymade garments, jeans, trousers, jackets, gloves, helmets, head gears, boots and shoes by using the domain name www.royalenfieldmotorcycle.co.cc. The domain name was deceptively similar to the Eicher motors limited.
In this case, the high court passed the injunction against the seller and restrained them from “using, the domain name, and from using images, distinctive expressions and features of the plaintiff's website”.