1994 PTC 287
The Plaintiffs being a famous German car company and it’s subsidiary in India, filed a suit for permanent injunction restraining infringement of trade mark against the Defendant towards use of it’s trade mark ‘Benz’ along with the device of a three pointed human being on undergarments.
The Hon’ble Court observed that the mark ‘Benz’ and the device of ‘device of a three pointed human being’ are well known marks. The Court further observed “I think it will be a great perversion of the law relating to Trade Marks and Designs, if a mark of the order of the “Mercedes Benz”, its symbol, a three pointed star, is humbled by indiscriminate colourable imitation by all or anyone; whether they are persons, who make undergarments like the defendant, or anyone else. Such a mark is not up for grabs – not available to any person to apply upon anything or goods. That name which is well known in India and world wide, with respect to cars, as is its symbol a three pointed star.”
The Hon’ble Court made the following important observations:
• “….There are marks which are different from other marks. There are names which are different from other names. There are names and marks which have become household words. “Benz” as name of a Car would be known to every family that has ever used a quality car. The name “Benz” as applied to a car, has a unique place in the world. There is hardly one who is conscious of existence of the cars/automobiles, who would not recognize the name “Benz” used in connection with cars…..”
• “….In my view, the Trade Mark law is not intended to protect a person who deliberately sets out to take the benefit of somebody else’s reputation with reference to goods, especially so when the reputation extends world wide. By no stretch of imagination can it be said that use for any length of time of the name “Benz” should be not objected to….”
• “…None should be continued to be allowed to use a world famed name to goods which have no connection with the type of goods which have generated the world wide reputation….”
• “…”Benz” is a name given to a very high priced and extremely well engineered product. In my view, the defendant cannot dilute, that by user of the name “Benz” with respect to a product like under-wears…”
The Defendant was restrained from using the mark ‘Benz’ along with the device of a three pointed human being for undergarements.