The Delhi High Court, in a matter of trademark infringement has directed two Ludhiana-based firms to cease fresh manufacturing of ‘Rallies’ bicycles after a subsidiary of Switzerland based Accell Group for its deceptive similarity. This was seen in the case of SWISS BIKE VERTRJEBS GMBH SUBSIDIARY OF ACCELL GROUP v. IMPERIAL CYCLE MEG. CO. (PARTNERSHIP FIRM) & ANR [CS (COMM) 800/2022 and I.A. 19042/2022], which was presided over by Justice Pratibha M Singh
FACTS OF THE CASE
Competing marks in the present case are ‘RALEIGH’ and ‘RALLIES’ for bicycles/cycles/bikes, the Plaintiff in the present case is Swiss Bike Vertriebs GMBH a subsidiary of ACCELL Group based out of Switzerland which has a history of over 125 years and it owns and operates a wide range of bike/bicycle brands throughout Europe.
The defendant company is based out of Ludhiana, Punjab for exclusively manufacturing, importing, selling and distributing ‘RALEIGH’ bicycles products in India. The said mark is also a registered trademark in India.
The case of the Plaintiff is that the adoption of the mark ‘RALLIES’, the Defendants is violative of the Plaintiff’s statutory and common law rights as the Defendants’ mark is phonetically similar to the Plaintiff’s mark ‘RALEIGH’. It is further submitted that the Defendants are not merely copying the mark but also various other attributes such as colour combination used on the bikes, images of the Plaintiff’s bicycles and even the Plaintiff’s advertisement poster
JUDGEMENT OF THE CASE
The court ordered “The Defendants shall cease manufacture as well as advertising in physical shops and through online platforms including e-commerce platforms of all such goods mentioned above, under the mark ‘RALLIES’ or any other mark which is identical/deceptively similar mark to the Plaintiff’s mark ‘RALEIGH,” and made clear that there shall be no fresh manufacture of the products under the impugned mark. After the said date, none of the products under the mark ‘RALLIES’ shall be made available in the physical stores or on the e-commerce platforms.
The matter will now be heard by the roster bench on December 13.
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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY VYSHNAVI KRISHNAN.