26 Oct 2021

ALLIED BLENDER AND DISTILLERS PVT. LTD. v. SANJAY KHURANA AND ORS.

INTRODUCTION-

The Plaintiff, Allied Blenders and Distillers Pvt. Ltd., filed the present application seeking an order for temporary injunction restraining the defendants, Sanjay Khurana and Ors., their directors, wholesalers, distributors, etc. form using, manufacturing, selling, exporting, importing, offering for sale, distributing, advertising, directly or indirectly dealing in any packaging and/or label or any material, or directly or indirectly dealing in alcoholic beverages, especially IMFL or goods of any description or in any other manner of being in affiliation/association with the Plaintiff that amounts to infringement of their trademark rights, or, that may cause confusion or deception leading to passing off of the Defendants’ goods and business as those of the Plaintiff; and an order seeking ex-parte relief.

FACTS-

The trademark “Officer’s Choice” was coined and adopted in 1988 by the predecessor of the plaintiff, Allied Blenders and Distillers Pvt. Ltd. In the year 2011, the plaintiff launched a whisky by the name of “Officer’s Choice Blue” and the label of “Officer’s Choice” was registered in 2013.

In an earlier suit of ‘M/s Allied Blenders and Distillers Pvt. Ltd. v. Surya Rao Trading as Leo Food and Beverages’ [CS (COMM) 1227/2016], which declared that the plaintiff’s registered trademark “Officer’s Choice” as a well-known mark by the Court.

During mid-2021, in the months of June and July, the defendants, Sanjay Khurana and Ors., launched their product “KI OFFICER VOICE BLLUE”, not only it infringes the plaintiff’s trademark and copyright of “Officer Choice Blue” but also the plaintiff’s label/trade dress. The packaging images below give a clear idea of defendant’s impugned label, trade dress and packaging which is confusingly similar to the plaintiff’s registered trademark, trade dress and packaging.

FINDINGS BY THE COURT-

Justice Jayant Nath said that the plaintiff made out a prima facie case. The defendants, directors and other people related to using, manufacturing, etc. of the IMFL or goods of any description or in any other manner affiliated with Plaintiff or infringement of the Plaintiff’s copyright and trademark rights are restrained by an ex-parte injunction.

It was also ordered to the plaintiff to comply with the provisions of Order 39 Rule 3 of CPC within one week form October 12, 2021.