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Starbucks Corporation filed a case on TEAQUILA A FASHION CAFE & ANR. In Teaquila A Fashion Café in High Court Of Delhi

Decree of damages is passed in favour of the Plaintiff and against the Defendants for a sum of Rs.2,00,000/-. Cost of Rs.9,60,100/- is awarded in favour of the Plaintiff and against the Defendants.was upheld by the High Court Of Delhi through the learned bench led by HON’BLE MS. JUSTICE JYOTI SINGH in the case of STARBUCKS CORPORATION Vs TEAQUILA A FASHION CAFE & ANR. (CS(COMM) 479/2019 & I.A. 12127/2019) on 06.05.2022.

Brief facts of the case are that Plaintiff prayed for permanent injunction restraining the Defendants, their partners, etc. from infringing Plaintiff’s registered trademark “FRAPPUCCINO” either alone or with any prefix or suffix or any other confusing and deceptively similar trademark in relation to their goods, services and business as well as passing off. Plaintiff also prayed for award of damages and delivery up of the impugned goods, menu cards, etc. Decree for rendition of accounts of profits earned by the Defendants by using the FRAPPUCCINO marks is sought as an alternative relief to damages.

The Plaintiff uses the trademark FRAPPUCCINO and variations thereof for its widely popular hand-crafted blended cold beverages throughout the world in various flavours. The FRAPPUCCINO mark is registered in over 185 countries and territories in different classes in relation to various goods and services, details whereof have been furnished in the plaint. The trademark registrations are valid and subsisting. the Plaintiff obtained top-level domain name frappuccino.com on 28.10.1997. Plaintiff is a registered proprietor of the trademark FRAPPUCCINO in India in various classes and the registrations are valid and subsisting, giving the Plaintiff an exclusive statutory right to use the trademark in India in respect of the goods for which they are registered. Plaintiff is a registered proprietor of the trademark FRAPPUCCINO in India in various classes and the registrations are valid and subsisting, giving the Plaintiff an exclusive statutory right to use the trademark in India in respect of the goods for which they are registered.

The cause that triggered the filing of the present suit was the information that the Plaintiff received in November, 2018 that Defendant No.2 was operating a cafe/restaurant under the name ‘Cafe TeaQuila– A Fashion Cafe’, wherein Defendant No.1 was selling/serving beverages under the name ‘BUTTER SCOTCH FRAPPUCCINO’ and ‘HAZEL NUT FRAPPUCCINO’, without Plaintiff’s permission, authorization or license. The marks used by the Defendants are phonetically and visually identical to the Plaintiff’s FRAPPUCCINO mark and the names of the beverages are confusingly and conceptually similar to one of the Plaintiff’s hand-crafted beverage items ‘SMOKED BUTTERSCOTCH FRAPPUCCINO’ and ‘HAZELNUT FRAPPUCCINO BLENDED COFFEE’.

Plaintiff sent a cease and desist notice to the Defendants. However, despite receipt of the notice as well as reminders and negotiation talks telephonically, Defendants continued to sell the impugned products.

The Court observed that “Having analysed the claim made by the Plaintiff towards damages, this Court is of the view that the claim for damages is based on presumptions that the Defendants would have sold 400 beverages in the relevant period. The entire claim is thus based on conjectures and surmises and no evidence has been led to support the claim of damages. In the absence of any evidence or sufficient material in favour of the Plaintiff, this Court is not in a position to award the damages claimed.“

The Court held that decree of damages is passed in favour of the Plaintiff and against the Defendants for a sum of Rs.2,00,000/-. Cost of Rs.9,60,100/- is awarded in favour of the Plaintiff and against the Defendants.

Click here to read the Judgement

Written by- Riya Singh, Legal Intern, Prime Legal

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