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Section 29 (4) Trademarks Act 1999 And Prima-Facie Satisfaction Of Goodwill

In the dispute between V GUARD and CROMPTON over the marks "PEBBLE" and "CROMPTON PEBBLE," Section 29(4) of the Trademarks Act, 1999, plays a pivotal role. This article provides a detailed analysis of the legal aspects surrounding the dispute, considering the arguments presented by both parties and the court's decision.

Section 29(4) of the Trademarks Act, 1999:
Under Section 29(4) of the Trademarks Act, 1999, prima facie goodwill suffices for establishing trademark infringement. This provision allows registered trademark users to file suits for infringement even if the goods and services aren't similar, provided certain conditions are met.

Specifically, the mark used by the defendant must be identical or similar to the registered trademark, and the registered trademark must have a reputation in India. Additionally, the use of the mark by the defendant should take unfair advantage of or be detrimental to the distinctive character or reputation of the registered trademark.

Facts of the Case:
The dispute between V GUARD and CROMPTON revolves around the use of the mark "PEBBLE." V GUARD claims exclusive rights to the mark for water heaters, electric water heaters, heating coils, and electric water geysers since 2013. CROMPTON began using the mark "CROMPTON PEBBLE" for electric irons since October 2020. CROMPTON argues that their mark is visually, phonetically, and structurally different from V GUARD's mark and that the use of the mark does not cause confusion.

Court's Analysis and Decision:
The court observed that the marks "PEBBLE" and "CROMPTON PEBBLE" are visually, phonetically, and structurally identical, with "PEBBLE" being the dominant part of both marks. The court upheld the order restraining CROMPTON from using the mark.

Analysis of Court's Decision:
The court's decision aligns with the principles of Section 29(4) of the Trademarks Act, 1999. Despite the differences in the goods sold under the respective marks, the similarity between the marks and the dominance of "PEBBLE" in both were sufficient grounds for granting the injunction. The court's interpretation emphasizes the importance of considering the overall impression created by the marks and the potential for confusion among consumers.

The V GUARD v. CROMPTON dispute illustrates the application of Section 29(4) of the Trademarks Act, 1999, in resolving trademark infringement cases. The court's decision underscores the significance of visual, phonetic, and structural similarity between marks in determining infringement. This analysis reaffirms the legal framework governing trademark disputes and the courts' role in protecting the rights of trademark owners.

Case Title: Crompton Greaves Consumer Electricals Ltd. Vs V Guard Industries Ltd.
Order Date: 06.03.2024
Case No. FAO(OS) (COMM) 153/2022
Neutral Citation:2024:DHC:1852-DB
Name of Court: Delhi High Court
Name of Hon'ble Judge: Vibhu Bakhru and Amit Mahajan, H.J.

This article is meant for informational purposes only and should not be construed as substitute for legal advice as Ideas, thoughts, views, information, discussions and interpretation perceived and expressed herein are are subject to my subjectivity and may contain human errors in perception, interpretation and presentation of the fact and issue of law involved herein.

Written By: Advocate Ajay Amitabh Suman, IP Adjutor - Patent and Trademark Attorney
Email: [email protected], Ph no: 9990389539

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