Machinenfabrik Rieter AG (“Machinenfabrik”) filed a suit at the Delhi High Court, Machinenfabrik Rieter AG v. Tex Tech Industries (India) Private Limited & Anr. CS(COMM)327/2020, seeking a decree of permanent injunction to restrain Tex Tech Industries (India) Private Limited (“Tex Tech”) from infringing Machinenfabrik’s registered trademark RIETER (No. “418485” in Class 07) and Patent (No. IN 324406) by selling certain impugned goods. Tex Tech stated that the Delhi High Court does not have territorial jurisdiction to hear the matter as neither does the defendant or the plaintiff have a place of business in Delhi, nor did the cause of action for the present case arise in Delhi. It thus filed an application for rejection of the plaint. The Court, in its order dated April 30, 2021, held that to decide an application for rejection of plaint; it must refer only to the pleadings in the plaint and dismissed Tex Tech’s application.
In its application, Tex Tech contended that Machinenfabrik placed an order for the impugned articles and deliberately had them delivered to the latter’s attorney’s residence in Delhi, to establish that the cause of action arose in Delhi. It pleaded that such a “solitary trap transaction” cannot confer territorial jurisdiction upon the Court, hence the plaint should be rejected.
The Court, inter alia, noted that the plaint and the supporting documents showed that the goods were delivered in Delhi. Referring to the definition of a ‘cause of action’ under the Indian Code of Civil Procedure, it noted that the contract between the plaintiff and defendant was completed in Delhi. Further, the transactions elaborated in the plaint and accompanying documents did show sale of the defendants’ goods in Delhi. The Court held, “As to whether these transactions (as specified in the plaint) are bona fide transactions or not etc., are issues that can be decided only after parties lead their evidence.” Holding that the issue of jurisdiction was “triable”, to be decided when the parties lead evidence, it dismissed Tex Tech’s application for rejecting the plaint. This ruling is an important one on ‘forum convenience’ for trademark owners. 


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