The Delhi High Court has directed a spices manufacturer here to submit Rs 25 lakh to the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund for carrying out its business in violation of the trademark law and also imposed costs of Rs 30 lakh on it.
Justice Prathiba M Singh noted that the entity was found to be manufacturing and selling its products in name of the brand of the plaintiff company in spite of an order of injunction and also directed that a sum of Rs 20 lakh be deposited by it with the court.
The court said it was inclined to impose the strictest of the punishment on the defendant but in view of the remorse and unconditional apology expressed, only heavy monetary penalty was being awarded.
”The defendants shall pay a sum of Rs 30,00,000 as costs, which the plaintiff has incurred towards legal fees and pursuing the contempt applications, as also, in paying the fees of the local commissioners (etc.), said the court in its order dated August 2.
”In addition, the defendants shall deposit a sum of Rs 25,00,000 in the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund, on or before 15th November, 2022. Finally, a sum of Rs 20,00,000 shall be deposited with the worthy Registrar General of this Court, on or before 15th January, 2023.
The said amount shall be retained in a fixed deposit on auto-renewal mode, and shall be subject to the final decision in the present suit, the court further ordered.
In its order, the court recorded that the defendant has also already incurred losses as its infringing products stated to worth approximately Rs 4 crore were donated to Gurdwara Rakab Ganj Sahib and Nizamuddin Dargah after being seized by the local commissioner.
The plaintiff submitted that although the court had, in September last year, restrained the defendant from manufacturing the infringing products under the mark of the plaintiff, the defendant continued to do so and also advertised on an e-commerce platform.
The defendants tendered unconditional apology and told the court they were ready to change their trading name as well as labels. The court directed that moving forward, the defendant shall use another mark/name for their spices and also change the colour of their packaging.
It further said that once Rs 10 lakh out of the costs of 30 lakh imposed on it is paid by the defendant to the plaintiff, the defendant’s factory shall be de-sealed in order to enable it to commence their business again and deposit the remaining amount.