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Bengaluru Court Restrains Two Manufacturers From Counterfeiting Actor Vijay Deverakonda's Clothing Brand 'Rowdy'

Mustafa Plumber
30 Jan 2023 9:01 AM GMT
Bengaluru Court Restrains Two Manufacturers From Counterfeiting Actor Vijay Deverakondas Clothing Brand Rowdy

A Civil court in Bengaluru has by way of interim relief restrained two manufacturers from selling counterfeit clothing under the brand/trade name ‘Rowdy’, which is the brainchild of Telugu Actor Vijay Deverakonda, till the disposal of the suit.

Additional City Civil Judge Padma Prasad partly allowed the application filed by Rowdywear Pvt. Ltd and the Actor who is the Director in the Company and restrained Ram Hosiery and one Satish Kumar, Owner of Saanvi Textiles, from passing on the trademark and selling counterfeit products.

The court refused to pass any orders against online e-commerce platform Amazon but imposed a condition that it shall remove all the URLs that infringes the right of plaintiff over the brand name ‘Rowdy’ on being given specific information regarding the sam.

The Plaintiff company claimed that it owns and runs a clothing line/brand under the name and style of ‘Rowdy’, a brainchild of Vijay Deverakonda, who is renowned for his work in Telugu cinema, and that the trademark registration applications in this regard are pending consideration.

Meanwhile, it noticed that Amazon is selling and offering to sell several counterfeit T-shirts under the name ‘Generic’ that replicates the plaintiff’s T-shirt and each of the counterfeit T-shirts had the Rowdy trade marks printed on the front.

It is in this backdrop that the suit was filed and the plaintiff company claimed that 'Rowdy' and each trademark/logo mentioned in the plaint is solely and exclusively associated with it and exists in the minds of the general public. It was also stated that the manufacturer and distributor of the counterfeit products intentionally withhold their name to avoid civil and criminal liabilities.

Amazon contested the suit by saying it is an intermediary governed by the provisions of the Information Technology Act, 2000, it has provided an online market place wherein it provided a platform where sellers may list products for sale and provides related services to the marketplace. As such, it does not actively participate in the transaction that occurred in its platform.

Further it was said that mere display of marks on the platform does not amount to use of trade mark by it as the listings whereby the trade marks are displayed are uploaded entirely at the behest of third party sellers and as per Section 79 of the Information and Technology Act, 2000, the intermediary is not liable for the listing and sale of the impugned products.

The court on going through the records noted that the documents produced by the plaintiff company, particularly PAN card details and GST numbers, along with other documents at this juncture prima facie shows that it is the above named manufacturers (defendants 5 and 6) uploaded counterfeit products on Amazon, which are deceptively similar to the plaintiff’s products under the brand name ‘Rowdy’.

The material on record also shows that the defendants 5 and 6 have copied the plaintiff’s brand name ‘Rowdy’ for their products. As such, certainly defendant no.5 and 6 are to be restrained as prayed in IA No.1 from using the plaintiff’s brand name deceptively for their inferior quality of products,” the Court ordered.

So far as Amazon is concerned, the Court held that the plaintiff company failed to establish any nexus between Amazon and both the private defendants. No material was produced to show that Amazon or its sister concerns, also arrayed as defendants, posted or allowed the two manufacturers to upload any of the products that are either similar or deceptively similar to the plaintiff’s products. "As such, certainly the defendants no.2 to 4 are not liable for any interim order against them.

Thus Court said that Amazon is only liable to remove any URL which is infringing the Copyright of plaintiff, by the order of court as per the principle laid down by Apex Court in Shreya Singal’s case.

As such, it is just and necessary to direct the defendant no.1 to remove the URLs claimed in IA No.2 and it is also necessary to direct the defendant no.1 to remove any URLs that infringes the plaintiff’s Copyright,” it ordered.

Case Title: Rowdywear Pvt. Ltd & ANR And Amazon Seller Services Pvt. Ltd & others

Case No: OS 1346/2019

Appearance: Advocate Chintan Chinnappa for appellants

Click Here To Read Order

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