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Delhi High Court Grants Ex-Parte Ad-Interim Injunction in Favor of Plaintiff in SERPENTI Trademark and Copyright Infringement

"The Plaintiff, renowned for their luxury brand "BVLGARI and its iconic SERPENTI collection, has secured a crucial ex-parte ad-interim injunction against the Defendant, Amaris Jewels, for alleged trademark and copyright infringement. The Plaintiff, who first adopted the trademark "SERPENTI" in 1940 for wristwatches and later as a hallmark for its jewelry, is the owner and proprietor of several trademarks, including "BVLGARI SERPENTI, "BVLGARI, "BVLGARI BVLGARI, as well as the B.ZERO1 and various SERPENTI variants.

Trademark and Copyright Claims:
The Plaintiff has also asserted their rights over the product known as the "Serpenti Ocean Treasure Necklace. This necklace is a result of meticulous craftsmanship, starting from a vision expressed in a sketch and then handcrafted into a three-dimensional finished product. Renowned for its artistic quality, the necklace features distinctively placed elements, unique form, shape, and arrangement, resulting in a unique original expression. The Plaintiff claims that the artwork involved in the Serpenti Ocean Treasure Necklace qualifies as an "original artistic work" under the Copyright Act, 1957.

Discovery of Infringement:
In August 2022, the Plaintiff discovered the Defendant's activities through their website, Upon reviewing the site, the Plaintiff found that the Defendant had substantially copied the idea, form, manner of depiction, arrangement, and expression of all essential elements of the Plaintiff's original artistic work in the Serpenti Ocean Treasure Necklace. Additionally, the Defendant had copied the pattern, ornamentation, placement, color combination, and overall look and appearance of the Plaintiff's SERPENTI collection's trade dress.

Court's Prima Facie Findings:
The Court found that the Defendant's "Shield-It Necklace" is visually and structurally similar to the Plaintiff's Serpenti Ocean Treasure Necklace, sharing similar color combinations and placement of elements and ornamentation. The Plaintiff presented a strong prima facie case of copyright infringement, supported by their copyright registration in Italy. Given that India is a signatory to the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, the Plaintiff's copyright registration in Italy is recognized under Section 40 of the Copyright Act, 1957, thereby establishing the Plaintiff as the original author of the artistic work.

Trademark Infringement:
Moreover, the Court agreed that the Defendant's use of the identical mark SERPENTI for similar products constitutes a clear case of trademark infringement under Sections 29(2)(c) read with 29(3) of the Trade Marks Act, 1999.

Court's Decision:
The Court concluded that the Plaintiff has made a strong prima facie case in their favor. The Court noted that if an ex-parte ad-interim injunction is not granted, the Plaintiff would suffer irreparable loss, and the balance of convenience lies in favor of the Plaintiff. Consequently, the Court issued an ex-parte ad-interim injunction against the Defendant, restraining them from using the SERPENTI mark and from copying the artistic elements of the Plaintiff's Serpenti Ocean Treasure Necklace.

Case Title: Bulgari SPA Vs Prerna Rajpal
Judgement/Order Date: 29.04.2024
Case No. CS(COMM) 341 of 2024
Neutral Citation:NA
Name of Court: Delhi High Court
Name of Hon'ble Judge: Sanjeev Narula. H.J.

Ideas, thoughts, views, information, discussions and interpretation expressed herein are being shared in the public Interest. Readers' discretion is advised as these are subject to my subjectivity and may contain human errors in perception, interpretation and presentation of the fact and issue involved herein.

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

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