SUBMISSIONS ON BEHALF OF THE PLAINTIFF
Aggrieved by the Defendants’ actions, the Plaintiff filed a suit for trademark infringement of their bottles under Section 29 of the Trademarks Act, 1999, to seek permanent injunction restraining the Defendants, from manufacturing, selling, exporting, importing, offering for sale, distributing, advertising, directly or indirectly dealing in any bottle and/or packaging and/ or label or any material other goods bearing mark “BUDWEISER” or any other trademark deceptively similar to the Plaintiff’ s trademark amounting to passing off of the Defendants’ goods as that of the Plaintiff. The plaintiff further sought damages of Rs 2,00,05,000/- against the Defendants on account of the unauthorized use of the impugned marks. Images of such bottles, as also physical bottles, were also produced before the Delhi HC Court.
SUBMISSIONS ON BEHALF OF THE DEFENDANT
The Defendants provided the explanation that the bottles manufactured by the Plaintiff with the embossed word ‘BUDWEISER’ had come into the Defendant’s system through kabadiwalas, and therefore, entered the manufacturing line of the Defendant No.2-Company. The Defendants admitted that in view of the large volume of the bottles that are cleaned, filled and bottled, there may have been stray bottles of ‘BUDWEISER’ which may have been accidentally used by them. However, the Defendants were willing to give an undertaking to the effect that the bottles of ‘BUDWEISER’ shall not be used by it for manufacture and sale of their own beer.
COURT’S OPINION AND JUDGEMENT
The Court observed that said “infringing” bottles were available in the market even till date, with the Defendant’s product labels but embossed with the Plaintiffs mark ‘Budweiser’.
Reiterating the standpoint of the Court judgments in the cases of Cobra Beer Partnership Ltd. & Another v. Superior Industries Ltd., and M/s. Allied Blenders and Distillers Private Limited v. Rangar Breweries Ltd. where the courts pronounced the judgment that the recycled bottles already used by the plaintiffs cannot be used by the defendants as per the provisions of The Trademarks Act, 1999, the Delhi HC in the current case, the court pronounced the judgment in favor of the plaintiff passing a permanent injunction restraining the defendants from using similar beer bottles labelled ‘BUDWEISER’ to manufacture and sell their beer.
Further, the Court instructed the Defendants to exercise a greater degree of supervision at the manufacturing plant of the Defendant Companies, with random checks and inspections conducted by the Defendants to ensure that the bottles used in its manufacturing plant do not, in any manner, bear the mark ‘BUDWEISER’.