Midas Hygiene Industries Pvt. Ltd. Vs. Sudhir Bhatia and Ors.
The Appellants had filed a suit for passing off and for infringement of Copyright against the Respondent before the High Court. Hon’ble High Court noted that the Respondent worked with the plaintiff prior to launching it’s own business and the Appellants were prior and prominent user of the phrase Laxman Rekha since 1991 as a part of the description of crazy lines. It was also observed that the Respondent was not able to give any explanation why he adopted ‘Magic Laxman Rekha’.
The learned Single judge granted an injunction in favour of the Appellants, which was reversed by the Division Bench on the ground of delay and latches in filing the suit. The Appellant filed an appeal before the Supreme Court of India against the order of the Division Bench.
The Supreme Court overruled the decision of the Division Bench by holding that “The law on the subject is well settled. In cases of infringement either of Trade Mark or of Copyright normally an injunction must follow. Mere delay in bringing action is not sufficient to defeat grant of injunction in such cases. The grant of injunction also becomes necessary if it prima facie appears that the adoption of the mark was itself dishonest.”
The Supreme Court also observed that the Respondent could not give any explanation as to why it’s carton had to be changed to look almost identical to that of the Appellants and held that “This prima facie indicates the dishonest intention to pass off his goods as those of the Appellants.”
The Appeal was accordingly allowed.