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Delhi HC Awards Rs 3.85 Crore Damages to UK Firm For Trademark Infringement

The court decreed the suit in favour of the company and against the defendants saying the chronology of events shows that the illegalities, repeated violations and disobedience of the orders and undertakings are "deliberate and conscious".

PTI

Updated:February 5, 2019, 7:28 PM IST
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New Delhi: The Delhi high court has awarded 3.85 crore to UK-based Whatman International Ltd in damages for its trademark infringement by various persons here who were selling infringed products.

The court said the conduct of defendants was wrong and they have committed infringement of the company's mark and impinged on its rights deliberately, consciously and wilfully for over 25 years.

"Repeated legal action has not deterred them. They showed no remorse in the statements recorded.... The present is a case for award of aggravated, punitive damages," Justice Prathiba M Singh said.

The court directed them to pay the amount to the company within three months. It also also held them guilty of contempt of court order and listed the matter for March 5 for hearing arguments on the point of punishment to be awarded to them.

Whatman had approached the high court seeking to restrain the defendants, various persons belonging to the same family, from infringing its trademark.

The company, in its plea through advocate Pravin Anand, said it was founded by James Whatman in 1740 was it was the owner of the mark 'whatman'.

The company said it makes and sells various products including filter paper and used a distinctive colour combination and script, get-up and layout for its Whatman filter paper, consisting of a white background with a blue script.

The plea alleged that the defendants were habitual infringers and have a long history of manufacturing and selling counterfeit Whatman filter paper, beginning from 1992, and thereafter in 2005.

Despite giving undertakings, they continued to sell the infringing goods, leading to the plaintiff filing the present suit, it said.

Earlier, as in interim measure, local commissioners were appointed to visit the premises of the defendants in Mumbai where seizures of infringing products were made, the plea claimed, adding that when they continued to sell the infringed products, the company lodged an FIR.

In their response, the defendants said that the company does not have any goodwill in India and that the letter 'W' cannot be monopolised by the plaintiff.

They also claimed that they had not violated the injunction order and only old stock, which was lying in the premises, was seized by the police.



The court decreed the suit in favour of the company and against the defendants saying the chronology of events shows that the illegalities, repeated violations and disobedience of the orders and undertakings are "deliberate and conscious".

"The pleadings contained false statements. The reports of the local commissioners totally exposed the illegalities of the defendants. The final nail in the coffin was the scant regard shown even before the court, when completely false statements were made. The contemptuous acts of the defendants... deserve to be punished in accordance with law. They are held guilty of contempt," the court said.
| Edited by: Debdeep Mukherjee
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