The Delhi High Court recently passed a decree permanently injuncting the defendant, a café in Rajasthan, from using the mark FRAPPUCCINO which is identical to Starbucks Corporation’s registered trade mark FRAPPUCCINO. Recognising the plaintiff's right over the mark FRAPPUCCINO, the Court awarded the plaintiff damages of INR 2,00,000 and full legal costs.
It was the plaintiff’s case that in 2018 it learned that the defendant was selling a beverage under the name ‘BROWNIE CHIPS FRAPPUCCINO’ without the plaintiff’s permission, authorization, or license. Moreover, the defendant also referred to the beverage name FRAPPUCCINO on the menu cards of their establishment. The Plaintiff further submitted that it sent notices to the defendant to stop the use of the plaintiff’s registered mark FRAPPUCCINO but even after repeated reminders no response was received.
The Court noted that the plaintiff is a registered proprietor of the mark FRAPPUCCINO and opined that the defendant had adopted an identical mark, with the prefix ‘Brownie Chip’ with the intent to deceive customers and to ride upon the reputation of the mark. Moreover, the court noted that the plaintiff itself used its FRAPPUCCINO mark with suffixes depicting the flavours of its beverages, like ‘Java Chip Frappuccino’. The Court, thus, held that the adoption of the FRAPPUCCINO mark by the defendant is dishonest and is intended to deceive consumers. Moreover, it amounts to infringement of the plaintiff’s trade mark and also results in passing off the goods of the defendant as that of the plaintiff