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If a party has knowingly made a false or misleading statement and the injunction was granted, the Court shall vacate the injunction: High Court of Delhi

As per the first proviso to Order XXXIX Rule 4 of the CPC, if a party has knowingly made a false or misleading statement in relation to a material particular and the injunction was granted without giving notice to the opposite party, the Court shall vacate the injunction unless, for reasons to be recorded, it considers that it is not necessary so to do in the interests of justice and the same was upheld by High Court of Delhi through the learned bench led by JUSTICE AMIT BANSAL in the case of KENT RO SYSTEM LTD. & ANR vs. GATTUBHAI & ORS. [CS(COMM) 426/2019] on 23.03.2022.

The facts of the case are that the plaintiff is Kent RO System Ltd. and defendant as per the website http://kentappliances.com & www.indiamart.com is believed to own and control an enterprise, Kent Appliances. The defendant is also associated with controlling Kent Appliances. The mark ‘KENT’ was adopted by the plaintiffs in the year 1988 in respect of products relating to petroleum conservation and in 1999, the plaintiffs also started using the mark ‘KENT’ in respect of its water purifier systems. Besides holding the trade mark registration for the mark ‘KENT’, the plaintiffs also hold the copyright registration in respect of its logo.

The products sold by the defendants under the mark ‘KENT’ are available on the website, http://kentappliances.com, and other third-party websites. The plaintiff therefore, seeks ad-interim injunction restraining the defendants from manufacturing, selling, offering for sale, advertising or in any manner dealing on product bearing a mark ‘KENT’ or ‘KENT APPLIANCES’ or variants thereof or any other mark or logo or trade name, which is deceptively similar to the trade mark of the plaintiffs.

The counsel for the defendants contended that the plaintiffs have suppressed and concealed material facts. As per the communications exchanged between the parties, the plaintiff offered to settle the matter with the defendants. In light of the aforesaid, the plaintiffs have wrongly stated that the plaintiffs did not know about the products of the defendants.

The counsel for the plaintiff contended that though the defendants have also filed for registration of the trade mark KENT in 2007 claiming user since 1996, however, it is pleaded that there is nothing filed on record by the defendants to show user since 1996. She further states that the said application is more or less has been abandoned. She however stresses that the plaintiffs have been using the mark since 1996. It has also copyright registration on the logo being used.

Court modified the judgment to the extent that the ex parte ad-interim injunction restraining the defendants from manufacturing, selling, offering for sale, advertising or in any manner dealing on product bearing a mark ‘KENT’ or ‘KENT APPLIANCES’ or variants thereof or any other mark or logo or trade name, which is deceptively similar to the trade mark of the plaintiffs, is vacated. The Court observed that “An action for passing off, as the phrase “passing off” itself suggests, is to restrain the defendant from passing off its goods or services to the public as that of the plaintiff’s. It is an action not only to preserve the reputation of the plaintiff but also to safeguard the public.”

Click here to read the Judgment

Judgment reviewed by – Shristi Suman

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