Mondelez India Foods Pvt. Ltd. And Anr. v. Neeraj Food Products
Recently, the Delhi High Court decreed the suit in the favour of Mondelez India Foods Private Limited, Formerly Cadbury India Ltd. (“Plaintiff”). The Delhi High Court, in its decision, has permanently restrained Neeraj Food Products (“Defendant”) from using the mark ‘James’ or ‘James Bond’ for its products. The Court also awarded costs of over INR 15 lakh in favour of the Plaintiff.
The Plaintiff, in 2005, had filed a suit before the Court alleging that the Defendant launched a chocolate product under the mark ‘James Bond’ with an identical colour scheme, layout, and arrangement as that of the Plaintiff’s ‘Cadbury Gems’ or ‘Gems’ products. The Plaintiff owns trademark registration for ‘Cadbury’s Gems’ and ‘Gems’, and also has copyright registrations for the artistic works in respect of a character known as ‘Gems Bond’.
The Court, while granting permanent injunction, held that GEMS is one of India’s most popular chocolate brands and are usually consumed by small children, both in urban and rural areas. The products of the Plaintiff and Defendant are strikingly similar where the Defendant’s product’s colour scheme is identical to the Plaintiff’s label, packaging and colour scheme. Undoubtedly, the Defendant’s mark is even confusingly and deceptively similar. In view of the same, the Court opined that a comparison of the Defendant’s infringing products and the packaging thereof, left no doubt that the same was a complete knock-off, of the plaintiff’s ‘CADBURY GEMS’. Here, a notable fact was that the products were sold by the Plaintiff, not only in bigger packs, but also in smaller pillow packs, due to which the Plaintiff’s mark may not even be fully visible. Hence, the product’s get up, layout, as also, the colour combination of the packaging plays a significant role at the point of purchase. Clearly, there is an immense likelihood of confusion, particularly considering the class of consumers that the product is targeted at, that is, children. In the backdrop, it was held that the use of the Defendant’s mark ‘JAMES BOND’/‘JAMEY BOND’ and the product packaging bearing the said mark, was infringing the Plaintiff’s registered trademark ‘CADBURY GEMS’/’GEMS’, its copyright registrations featuring the character ‘GEMS BOND’ and also constituted passing off.
The Hon’ble Delhi High Court ordered that the Defendant shall pay the costs and damages to the Plaintiff within three months, failing which the Plaintiff shall be permitted to seek execution of the decree or avail of its remedies, in accordance with law.
Mondelez India Foods Pvt. Ltd. And Anr. v. Neeraj Food Products, CS (COMM) 393 of 2018,