Whiskey Brands allegation of Trademark Infringement issues notice: Supreme Court

Case Title: Pernod Ricard India Private Limited & Anr. v. Karanveer Singh Chhabra

Case No: Petition(s) for Special Leave to Appeal (C) No(s). 28489/2023

Decided on:  5th January, 2024


Facts of the case

As per the plaintiffs, they are in business of manufacturing and selling whisky in the name of ‘Blenders Pride’ and ‘Imperial Blue’. They have been using mark ‘Blenders Pride’ since 1995 and ‘Imperial Blue’ since 1997.The plaintiffs have obtained registration in respect of their trademark in Class -33. The trade mark ‘Seagram’s’ is a registered trade mark of plaintiff No.2 of Class-33. They acquired knowledge that defendant is selling London Pride whisky which is deceptively similar to its Blenders Pride trade mark. The whiskey of defendant is being sold by putting label, using packaging, getup and trade dress deceptively similar to Imperial Blue. Their bottles bear the trade mark Seagram’s. The defendant is practicing misrepresentation and fraud to deceive the customers.

The defendant contested the application for issuance of temporary injunction that it is the proprietor of London Pride and is a registered copyright owner of the artistic work. There is no similarity between the mark of defendant London Pride and the marks of plaintiffs as is being contended by them who have no prima facie case, irreparable injury or balance of convenience in their favour.

The trial Court has observed that the two brands of the parties when put to comparison, the only significant similar feature is the word ‘Pride’. The packaging, style, shape and logo are all different. The word ‘Pride’ is commonly used in common parlance. A consumer going into the market to purchase premium/ultra- premium whisky will not be confused by the word ‘Pride’ in the name of any brand. The mark has to be compared as a whole. Merely by using word ‘Pride’ in its trademarks it cannot be said that defendant has imitated plaintiff’s trademarks.


Whether there is similarity between the trademark of defendant ‘London Pride’ and the registered trademarks of plaintiffs?

Court’s analysis and decision

The Bench issued notice on prayer for stay and Special Leave Petition to be returnable on 19.01.23. Dasti service is permitted.

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Written by- Afshan Ahmad

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