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Delhi High Court Awards ₹5 Lakhs Cost In Favour Of Hungarian Company 'Hell Energy' In Trademark Infringement Suit

Nupur Thapliyal
7 Jun 2022 8:00 AM GMT
Delhi High Court Awards ₹5 Lakhs Cost In Favour Of Hungarian Company Hell Energy In Trademark Infringement Suit
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The Delhi High Court has awarded a cost of Rs. 5 lakhs in favour of a Hungarian Company engaged in the business of production and sale of energy drinks under the brand names 'HELL' and 'HELL ENERGY' in a trademark infringement suit filed by it.

Justice Pratibha M Singh directed that the said amount be paid by July 15, noting the fact that mediation proceedings between the parties were not successful and also that the Defendants were ex-distributors of the company in question.

The suit was filed against M/s Jes & Ben Groupo Pvt. Ltd. and its directors. The case of the Plaintiff was that the mark 'HELL ENERGY' was adopted by it in 2006 along with a unique logo, trade dress and artistic work. The Plaintiff was also the registered owner of the mark 'HELL' in class 32 for 'non-alcoholic beverages and energy drinks' in countries like Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Ireland, Great Britain, Georgia, Germany, Lithuania, Sweden, Serbia, Turkey and Uzbekistan.

The said mark, 'HELL' was registered in India in the name of the Plaintiff since 2017 in respect of energy drinks. The case of the Plaintiff was that it had signed an exclusive distributorship agreement dated 04th October, 2017 with Defendant No.1 through its director for the sale and distribution of Plaintiff's goods under the mark 'HELL' and 'HELL ENERGY'.

The said agreement was terminated on 25th March, 2019. Thereafter, it came to the attention of the Plaintiff that the Defendants were continuing to use the mark 'HELL' and its variations on its website www.jbgroup.com without the consent or permission of the Plaintiff.

In the suit, it was the grievance of the Plaintiff that despite the termination of the distributorship agreement, the Defendants continued to use the mark 'HELL' and other derivative marks for energy drinks. A cease-and-desist notice dated 27th September, 2019 was sent to the Defendants asking them to immediately stop the unauthorised use of Plaintiff's mark 'HELL'. However, no reply was received from the Defendants. The suit was, therefore, filed seeking permanent injunction and damages.

The counsel appearing for the defendants on instructions made a categorical submission that though the Defendants suffered losses due to the termination of the agreement, they did not intend to use the mark 'HELL', 'HELLROCK', 'HELL ROCK ENERGY' or any other mark which was identically or deceptively similar to the Plaintiff's mark 'HELL' in respect of energy drinks.

It was submitted that the Defendants intend to use the mark 'HEYROCK', however, the exact packaging, color combination, etc. was not available with the Defendant.

Since the plaintiff had no objection in the proposed mark 'HEYROCK' being adopted and used, the Court, while permitting the Defendants to adopt and use the same, directed the defendants to ensure that the said packaging, color combination, trade dress, etc. shall not be identical or deceptively similar to the Plaintiff's product.

Regarding the existing stock of Defendants' products in the market, it was submitted that there would be no fresh manufacturing or no fresh supply to the distribution chain and that the existing stock shall be exhausted by the Defendants or their distributors within a period of three months.

"In view of the fact that multiple proceedings have been filed by the Plaintiff against the Defendants and that mediation had also not fructified and also the fact that the Defendants were ex-distributors of the Plaintiff, the Defendants shall pay a sum of Rs.5 lakhs as costs to the Plaintiff- M/s Hell Energy Magyarorszag Kft. by 15th July, 2022," the Court directed.

Since the Plaintiff was a foreign company, the Court said that the payment shall be made in the name of the law firm representing it i.e. M/s S.S. Rana and Co. by way of a demand draft.

The Court also added that the costs of Rs.2 lakhs imposed vide order dated 23rd September, 2021

shall also be paid to the Plaintiff by 15th July, 2022.

Case Title: HELL ENERGY MAGYARORSZAG KFT. v. & BEN GROUPO PVT. LTD. & ORS

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Del) 548

Click Here To Read Order


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