On 23 June 2020, Delhi High Court heard the case Cerveciria Modelo De Mexico, S. De R.L. De C.V v. Whiskin Spirits Pvt. Ltd. In this case, Delhi HC issued an order restraining advertisement that links Corona beer with coronavirus.
Brief Facts of the Case
The Delhi HC passed the injunction in favour of the company manufacturing Corona Beers. The plaintiff manufactures beer and sells it under the registered trademark “Corona”. Corona beer is sold in around 180 countries and, therefore, has a worldwide reputation. It is also averred that the defendant was engaged by the plaintiff as its distributor for the NCT of Delhi.
The defendant took out advertisements on the social media platform. The plaintiff appears to be aggrieved by the fact that the Defendant used Facebook which considers the plaintiff’s product with coronavirus.
Advocates Pravin Anand, Shantanu Sahay, Aasish Somasi and Rohan Sharma represented the side of Plaintiff.
The single-judge bench of Justice Rajiv Shakdher passed the order. The Court noted that the plaintiff’s statutory and commercial interests are being jeopardized. Hence, it granted an ad-interim injunction.
The Court said, “The Mexican company had been able to show a prima facie case of ‘disparagement'”. (Disparagement means using false claims or statements about the competitor. The Trademarks Act 1999 bars it.)
The Court observed that the balance of convenience is undoubtedly in the plaintiff’s favour. This is after considering the extent and nature of the plaintiff’s market of the product.
The Court granted an injunction to the defendant until the next hearing. Hence, this implies that all the employees, agents, officers, etc. on its behalf can’t reproduce, broadcast, or communicate to the public. Further, the Court placed a restriction on the screening, publishing, and distributing of the impugned advertisement.
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