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  • SC IP

Havells India Limited Vs. Polycab India Limited

The Hon’ble Delhi High Court has partially declined interim relief to Havells India Limited (“Plaintiff”) in a suit for design infringement filed by the Plaintiff, against the use of a wide range of fans (“Suit Designs”) by Polycabs India Limited (“Defendant”).

It was the Plaintiff’s case that the Defendant, with its use of the Suit Design, infringed the Plaintiff’s rights in three of its registered designs (2016, 2021, and 2022). The Defendant had also moved a plea to vacate the injunction order granted against the Defendant with respect to the 2016 design.

The Court, in its examination of the Suit Designs vis-à-vis 2022 design, differentiated the treatment of Suit Designs from the Plaintiff’s registered designs. In doing so, it emphasized that it is not sufficient to compare Suit Design only with the Plaintiff’s registered designs as appearing on the records of the IP Office but also the visual appeal and overall impression of the actual end products corresponding to the Suit Designs. However, in doing so, the Court stressed that the Plaintiff’s end products must align with the designs’ registrations. The court, in conclusion, ruled that novelty as stated in the registration certificate of 2022 design, lies in surface patterns where significant differences are apparent upon examining the surface patterns of the competing products.

The Court dismissed the Plaintiff’s plea vis-à-vis 2021 design, due to insufficient evidence of infringement. As regards the 2016 design, the Court reiterated the similarity between the Defendant’s fans and the Plaintiff’s design and maintained the interim injunction previously granted by the Court.

This ruling reaffirms the importance of aligning the competing designs’ visual appeals, actual usage of the design in the end products and submitting substantial evidence while bringing an action of infringement.

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