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20 Lakh Fine imposed on Chinese online seller by Delhi High Court for infringing Vistara airlines ‘ Trademark by Sale of Identical Baggage Tags’

Delhi High Court Imposes fine on Chinese e-commerce platform AliExpress for infringing Vistara airlines ‘ Trademark by Sale of Identical Baggage Tags’. This was seen in the case of TATA SIA AIRLINES LIMITED v. SHENZHEN COLOURSPLENDOUR GIFT CO LTD & ANR.( CS(COMM) 352/2020 & I.A. 9553/2021) and the case was presided by single judge bench of HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE NAVIN CHAWLA.

Facts of the case-

Vistara Airlines contended in its trademark infringement suit that Chinese e-commerce platform AliExpress is selling identical keychains and baggage tags, in the same aubergine and gold colour combination. The plaintiff issues baggage tags to its crew members which bear the plaintiff‟s ‘VISTARA Marks’. It was alleged that despite the e-commerce platform being based mostly in China, the website contained several listings by the defendant of infringing baggage tags and keychains bearing the ‘VISTARA Marks’ in the aubergine and gold colour-combination without the authorisation of the plaintiff which were eligible for shipping to India.

Judgement-

The High Court observed that the use of the “VISTARA Marks” not only amounted to infringement and passing off but would cause dilution of the mark. It was also likely to cause deception and confusion in the mind of the unwary consumer.

The court also added that that Vistara’s apprehension of national as also international security concerns at airports by mala fide usage of the baggage tags and keychains being offered for sale by the defendant seller prima facie was valid in nature. Considering the fact that Vistara was the registered proprietor of the ‘VISTARA Marks’ and there was no appearance for the defendant seller, the Court opined that the seller had no justification for the adoption of an identical trade mark for sale of the goods in question. It said “Airports are an incredibly critical junction of not only travel but also of trade and commerce; any lapse in security, especially by permitting the sale of vagrantly-infringing goods, would be turning a blind eye to obvious wrongdoings of the defendant,” .

Consequently the court order stated  “Keeping in view the above as also the object and mandate of the Commercial Courts Act, 2015; the Delhi High Court (Original Side) Rules, 2018; and the Delhi High Court Intellectual Property Division Rules, 2022, the plaintiff is held entitled to damages and costs quantified at Rs. 20 Lakh (Rupees Twenty Lakh only).”

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Judgement reviewed by Utkarsh sahu

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