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Non-Filing Of Legal Proceedings Certificate Does Not Disentitle Party To File Suit Seeking Injunction In Apprehension Of Trademark Infringement: Delhi HC

Nupur Thapliyal
16 Sep 2022 6:30 AM GMT
Non-Filing Of Legal Proceedings Certificate Does Not Disentitle Party To File Suit Seeking Injunction In Apprehension Of Trademark Infringement: Delhi HC
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The Delhi High Court has observed that mere non-filing of a 'legal proceedings certificate' is not concealment of such a material nature so as to disentitle the plaintiff to file a suit seeking an injunction, wherein it apprehends infringement of its trademark. A division bench comprising of Justice Vibhu Bakhru and Justice Amit Mahajan was dealing with a plea filed by M/s Maan...

The Delhi High Court has observed that mere non-filing of a 'legal proceedings certificate' is not concealment of such a material nature so as to disentitle the plaintiff to file a suit seeking an injunction, wherein it apprehends infringement of its trademark.

A division bench comprising of Justice Vibhu Bakhru and Justice Amit Mahajan was dealing with a plea filed by M/s Maan Pharmaceuticals Limited challenging an order passed by Trial Court dismissing its application filed under Order VII Rules 10 and 11 of Code of Civil Procedure, 1908.

A suit was filed by M/s Mindwave Healthcare Pvt. Ltd. against M/s Maan Pharmaceuticals Limited seeking permanent injunction restraining it from using the trademark "BUPROEX-N". MINDWAVE claimed to be the registered owner of the said trademark and it alleged unauthorized use of the said trademark by MAAN.

In the Trial Court, Maan Pharma took a preliminary objection and filed an application under Order VII, Rules 10 and 11 read with sec. 151 of the CPC seeking return of the plaint due to lack of territorial jurisdiction and the alleged non-compliance by MINDWAVE.

The Trial Court, after considering the contentions, dismissed the said application vide the impugned order.

The Court rejected MAAN's argument that since the registered office of MINDWAVE was not at Neb Sarai, but only the sales office, would disentitle the Trial Court at Saket to have territorial jurisdiction.

"MINDWAVE, in the present case, has not only pleaded that it is carrying on its business from its principal office for sale, distribution and control, which is within the territorial jurisdiction of the learned Trial Court at Saket, but it has also apprehended that MAAN would launch the infringing product within the territorial jurisdiction of the learned Trial Court and is, further, negotiating with various traders within the jurisdiction of the Trial Court at Saket," the Court said.

The Court reiterated that for the purpose of deciding an application under Order VII Rule 10 of the CPC, for return of plaint on the ground of lack of territorial jurisdiction, only the averments in the plaint are to be seen.

The Court thus concluded that it cannot be said that the plaint had failed to disclose that the cause of action was within the territorial jurisdiction of the Trial Court.

Noting that Maan Pharma failed to point out the prejudice being caused, the Court said that the Trial Court had rightly rejected its application seeking return of the plaint on the ground of lack of territorial jurisdiction.

The Court also opined that Maan Pharma had filed a rectification petition against the trademark registered in favour of MINDWAVE, which was prior to the date of filing of the suit.

It thus noted that filing of a rectification petition does not take away the right of a registered proprietor to injunct the infringement of its trademark and that the pendency of the rectification does not create any bar for grant of interim injunction.

"MINDWAVE has admitted that it had inadvertently failed to file the said certificate and the reasons have specifically been mentioned in the reply filed by it. MINDWAVE had also specifically pleaded that at the time of filing of the suit, rectification was not served upon it," the Court said.

It added "Though a Legal Proceedings Certificate is an important document, which should be placed before the court at the time of deciding preliminary applications, the same, however, will not take away the statutory right of a plaintiff to seek injunction, which it is otherwise entitled to."

Observing that no prejudice was caused to MAAN because of non-filing of the said document, the Court dismissed the plea.

Case Title: M/S MAAN PHARMACEUTICALS LTD v. M/S MINDWAVE HEALTHCARE PVT. LTD

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Del) 875

Click Here To Read Order 


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