A single bench of Bombay High Court’s Justice S.C. Gupte gave an order in the case of Hindustan Unilever Ltd. v. Emami Ltd. Here, the Court granted an interim injunction on Emami from using the trademark ‘Glow and Handsome’.
Brief Facts of the Case
The present case came before the Court when the Plaintiff HUL, a prior user of the term ‘Glow and Handsome’ under its trademark ‘fair and lovely’, filed an interim application for restraining the defendant Emami from using the trademark ‘Glow and Handsome’.
The counsel for the petitioner submitted the following arguments:
- The plaintiff has been selling the products under their trademark ‘Fair & Lovely’ since 1975 and has since then become a household name.
- The plaintiff applied for registration of the new trademark ‘Glow and Handsome’ on 7 September 2018. They announced their intention of selling products under the trademark ‘Glow and Handsome’ on 3 July 2020, and the permission for using this trademark came from the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) on 3 August 2020.
- They advertised the new trademark extensively.
- The defendant, on 27 July 2020, announced the use of the trademark ‘Glow and Handsome’ for its products.
Therefore, the application for an interim injunction is filed.
The counsel for the respondent submitted that:
- They have been using the trademark ‘Fair & Handsome’, and hence, the plaintiff cannot use the term ‘Glow & Handsome’.
- They have already filed an infringement petition in the Calcutta High Court against the Plaintiff (no interim relief granted yet).
- They applied for the trademark registration of ‘Glow and Handsome’ on 25 June 2020, and the trademark journal published the same.
- They also digitally launched the trademark ‘Glow and Handsome’ on 27 June 2020.
The Court after analysing the rival submissions observed that:
- The plaintiff appears to be a prior adopter and user of the term ‘Glow and Handsome’ as it has already launched products under this name in the market, whereas the defendant is still in the adopting stage.
- However, that jurisdiction on whether such use of the term by the plaintiff amounts to infringement or not lies with the Calcutta High Court only.
- On the argument that even if the plaintiff adopted the name first, they could not prove to have sufficient public name, it was observed that they had spent a good amount in the advertisement of their product under the new title, thus, raising doubt in the defendant’s argument.
The defendant is restrained from using the term ‘Glow & Handsome’ for the time being till the final disposal of the case. Moreover, the plaintiff cannot claim any equity through this order as this order does not have any effect on the jurisdiction and decision of the Calcutta High Court.
The defendant shall file I.A. in two weeks followed by a rejoinder if any, within two weeks after. The hearing on I.A. shall be listed after five weeks.
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