S.S Appliances Pvt. Ltd. & Anr. v. S.N. Raju, Delhi High Court, CS(COMM) 502/2021 dt. 8.10.2021

Recently, S.S. Appliances Pvt. Ltd. & Anr. (“Plaintiffs”) sued S.N. Raju (“Defendant”), seeking to restrain the Defendant from infringing the Plaintiffs’ trademark, KENT OIL METER.

The Plaintiffs were using the mark KENT OIL METER on/in relation to meters/instruments for conservation and test of oil/petroleum products and as a part of their trading name and style since 1988. The Plaintiffs also owned a registration for the mark KENT OIL METERS Design in Class 9 dating back to 1994. The Plaintiffs claimed that upon becoming aware of the Defendant’s use of mark, KENT METERS Design, in July 2020, they sent a notice to the latter demanding complete cessation of use of the infringing mark. Since Plaintiffs’ market search didn’t reveal goods bearing the Defendant’s mark, the Plaintiffs assumed that the Defendant had complied with the demands set out in the notice and had abandoned his mark. However, later the Defendant filed two applications at the Trade Marks Registry seeking registration of the infringing mark in Classes 7 and 9 and also resumed the sale of his products under the KENT METERS Design mark. 

Comparing the rival marks, the court opined that the Defendant’s mark is similar to the Plaintiffs’ mark and that the Plaintiffs had established a prima facie case in their favor. Accordingly, the court passed an ex parte ad interim order restraining the Defendant from manufacturing, selling, dealing etc. in identical/cognate goods/services under the mark KENT METERS or any other mark identical/deceptively similar to the Plaintiffs’ mark till the next hearing.