OWNER OF THE POPULAR SIGNATURE WHISKY SECURES AN INJUNCTION AGAINST USE OF A SIMILAR MARK FOR PAN MASALA

Our Associate, Madhurima Gadre discusses “Owner of the Popular SIGNATURE Whisky secures an Injunction against Use of a Similar Mark for Pan Masala”

Recently, the Delhi High Court granted an ad-interim injunction in favor of United Spirits Limited (“Plaintiff”), owner of SIGNATURE-formative marks in respect of various alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, restraining Som Fragrances Pvt. Ltd. (“Defendant”) from using the mark SIGGNATURE in a similar stylization and color combination in respect of pan masala. The parties had previously reached a settlement, whereby the Defendant executed undertakings accepting the Plaintiff’s rights in its SIGNATURE-formative marks and agreeing to adopt a new label. As per these undertakings, if the Plaintiff ever finds the Defendant in breach of undertakings, the former would be at liberty to take recourse in the court of law and seek damages.

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Earlier this year, the Plaintiff came across two hoardings of the Defendant showing its pan masala products bearing the old label, which the Defendant had agreed to discontinue pursuant to the undertakings. Subsequently, the Plaintiff also came across the Defendant’s pan masala products, which featured the old label, available in the marketplace. Moreover, the Defendant’s website located at www.dbsiggnature.com also displayed these pan masala products featuring the old label. Accordingly, the Plaintiff filed the present suit on account of the Defendant’s breach of undertakings.

The court noted that the Plaintiff had made out a prima facie case in its favor, and in case no ad-interim injunction is granted, the Plaintiff would suffer an irreparable loss. Further, the balance of convenience also lies in favor of the Plaintiff and against the Defendant, and hence, the court granted the ad-interim injunction until the next date of hearing.

United Spirits Limited v. Som Fragrances Pvt. Ltd. & Ors., Delhi High Court decision of 7.10.2020 in CS (COMM) 420/2020