BOMBAY HIGH COURT RESTRAINS COPYING OF PARLE BISCUITS’ PACKAGING BY FUTURE GROUP

Our Associate, Madhurima Gadre discusses “Bombay High Court Restrains Copying of Parle Biscuits’ Packaging by Future Group”

Recently, the Bombay High Court granted Parle Products Pvt. Ltd. (“Plaintiff”), proprietor of the popular biscuits sold under the marks MONACO, KRACKJACK and HIDE & SEEK, an ad-interim injunction against Future Consumer Ltd. (“Defendant”). The Plaintiff has been manufacturing and selling biscuits under the aforesaid marks for many decades, and owns registrations for these marks, in India. In addition, the Plaintiff is the owner of the copyright subsisting in the packaging of the biscuits sold under these marks.

The dispute arose when the Plaintiff came across the Defendant’s biscuits, which bear the marks CRACKO, KRACKER KING and PEEK-A-BOO and are sold in packaging similar to the one used by the Plaintiff. The Plaintiff alleged that the Defendant is intentionally stocking the rival goods together in its stores. A comparison of the rival goods is shown below:

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Under the circumstances, the Plaintiff filed a suit to restrain the Defendant’s activities. The court noted that the Defendant has blatantly copied the Plaintiff’s packaging, since the similarities in the packaging of the rival goods cannot be a matter of coincidence. Accordingly, the court granted an ad-interim injunction restraining the Defendant from using the above-shown packaging and allowing seizure of its goods from the marketplace. Since no one appeared on behalf of the Defendant, the court granted it liberty to apply for variation of the order with a prior written notice of 72 hours to the Plaintiff’s representatives.

The decision is a welcome step since it shows that Indian courts are also now not only concentrating on the infringement of word and design trade marks, but are also passing injunction orders if the infringing products have a similar trade dress/ get up.

Parle Products Pvt. Ltd & Anr. v. Future Consumer Ltd. & Ors., Bombay High Court decision dt. 9.10.2020 in Commercial IP Suit (L) No. 4130 of 2020