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Haldiram India Pvt. Ltd V. Berachah Sales Corporation & Ors. (CS(COMM) 495/2019)


The Hon’ble Delhi High Court, has recently, in a suit for permanent injunctions and a plea seeking recognition of the mark HALDIRAM along with its other variation by Haldiram India Pvt Ltd (“Haldiram”), restrained Berachah Sales Corporation (“Berachah”), from using the mark HALDIRAM or any mark similar to the HALDIRAM trade mark and has also declared the mark HALDIRAM as “well-known” under Section 2(1) (zg) of the Trade Marks Act, 1999.

 

The Court had initially issued an ex-parte ad-interim decree appointing a Local Commissioner, following which infringing products, including expired items from “Haldiram Inc”, one of Haldiram’s subsidiary, was uncovered from the premises under the control of Berachah. The Court in its permanent injunction order ruled that since the case in hand meets the triple identity test, Berachah’s actions have infringed Haldiram’s rights in its name and mark. The Court also ruled that exemplary damages fall within the category of punitive damages and are typically awarded in extraordinary cases, taking into account the severity of the misconduct such as this and Berachah has deliberately chosen to stay away from the proceedings merely to ensure that it is not required to produce its accounts. The Court, accordingly, decreed the suit in Haldiram’s favour for INR 50 Lakhs on account of damages and INR 2 Lakhs as costs.

 

The Court also declared the HALDIRAM and HALDIRAM in oval-shaped device marks ‘well-known’ in respect of food items as well as in respect of restaurants and eateries across India, including West Bengal (where Haldiram does not exercise exclusive rights), based spill-over of HALDIRAM’s reputation on other parts of the country into West Bengal. The Court also directed the Registrar of Trade Marks to refuse all trade mark applications for marks containing HALDIRAM filed by Berachah.

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