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Philips Holding B.V. v. Jaiprakash Agarwal & Anr

The Delhi High Court in its recent decision in a design infringement and passing off suit declined interim injunction to the plaintiffs owing to the presence of similar prior registered designs.

The plaintiffs asserted that the novelty of its designs reside in the T-Shape and Plug and Play format their electric bulbs. The plaintiffs further asserted that the look and feel of the defendants’ designs are similar to their designs. The plaintiffs supplemented their assertions by a comparative report highlighting the similarities of the rival designs.

The defendants in response contented that their designs were different from the plaintiffs’ designs. The defendants further contended that plaintiffs’ designs are liable to be cancelled since similar designs have been previously registered in India and put on record several design registrations for the same products.

After going through the submissions of the parties, the court despite finding the contrasting designs to be similar, held that the design of the plaintiffs’ bulbs to be merely a trade-variant of already existing registered designs and not capable of registration. The court also declined the prayer of passing off the plaintiffs holding that the plaintiff is also the original equipment manufacturer of various lighting products including the suit designs for various companies and thus the design of the bulbs cannot attribute a connection of the product to the plaintiffs.

Philips Holding B.V. v. Jaiprakash Agarwal & Anr, CS (Comm) 46/2019 & Signify Holding B.V. v. Syska LED Lights Pvt. Ltd., CS (Comm) 76/2019, Order dated 05-07-2022

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