Our Associate, Parth Agrawal discusses “Super Shine Industries restrained from using trademark and trade dress similar to Reckitt Benckiser’s mark and trade dress”
Reckitt Benckiser India Pvt. Ltd, (“Reckitt Benckiser”) a subsidiary of the Reckitt Benckiser Group plc, one of the global leaders in health, hygiene and home products, owns various brands including COLIN and HARPIC. Recently, Reckitt Benckiser approached the High Court of Delhi seeking an injunction against M/s. Super Shine Industries (“Super Shine Industries”). Reckitt Benckiser pleaded that the Super Shine Industries has been infringing upon its registered trademark COLIN and imitating its trade dresses comprising of artwork in the label and packaging of its products. It also argued that Super Shine Industries is not only infringing its registered trademark and trade dress but is also passing off its goods as if they emanate from Reckitt Benckiser.
Super Shine Industries claimed that its trademark is “SUPER SHINE” and that it is not in the business of manufacturing and selling glass and toilet lavatory cleaners. It went on to state that the screenshots from its website relied by Reckitt Benckiser are old and the trade dresses in question are not in use presently.
Reckitt Benckiser contended that, even if the infringing mark and trade dresses are not in use presently, Super Shine Industries has made huge sales from the infringing packaging and therefore, sought rendition of accounts to calculate damages.
At the interim stage, the court noted that, Reckitt Benckiser has made prima facie case in its favour and the balance of convenience also appears in its favour. The court, also noted that, if an injunction is not granted, it will jeopardize the statutory and commercial interests of Reckitt Benckiser, and granted an interim injunction until further orders.
It is important to note that the court disregarded Super Shine Industries’ plea that the infringing mark and trade dresses were not currently in use and granted the interim injunction. Courts in India have become more receptive to the idea of granting damage, be it punitive or compensatory, in cases of IP infringement. The concept of awarding damages becomes important as it not only acts as a deterrence on the infringer but also helps in compensating the claimant for its loss. It would be interesting to see if the court, pursuant to the trial, directs Super Shine Industries to furnish its books of accounts and requires it to pay damages to Reckitt Benckiser.