• Priyanka

VST Industries Limited (“VST”) and Rudra Ventures Private Limited (“Rudra”) both manufacture cigarettes. VST is the owner of the trademark “TOTAL” and a special pack design in metallic blue and black. Rudra sells cigarettes under the trademark “TOPAZ” for several years. Earlier the “TOPAZ” brand was used in a different colour scheme. Subsequently, Rudra altered its pack design to emulate the “TOTAL” pack and also used an inner foil that had similar phrases like “Dual Flavour” and “Twin Flavour” printed in the same font. In a suit filed by VST against Rudra, the Trial Court passed an injunction in favour of VST. Rudra appealed. In its appeal, Rudra emphasized that the trademarks “TOPAZ” and “TOTAL” were “totally” different and there could be no confusion between the two.
The appeal Court examined the two packs. Some images from the judgement which persuaded the appeal Court to continue the injunction Order are reproduced below.
The images clearly revealed the intention of Rudra. The selection of the color-scheme for the pack skillet design and the foil paper appears to be deliberate. Rudra was also unable to show that they were using this design prior to VST.
The appeal Court therefore did not interfere with the injunction order passed by the Trial Court. However, on compassionate grounds, the appeal Court allowed Rudra to get the products seized by the Court Commissioner during the initial proceedings and also permitted these released goods to be exported in a different packaging. This is “justice tempered with mercy”.


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