CISCO Technologies v. Shrikanth
2005 (31) PTC 538 (Del)
Key Words: Parallel Import, Exhaustion, Trade Mark Act
In this case, plaintiff CISCO was selling its products used in computer hardware since the year 1984 under the trademark ‘CISCO’ and was using a ‘Bridge Device’. It was submitted that the product of the plaintiff is used in critical networks such as railways, air-traffic control, hospitals, air defenses etc. and malfunctioning/failure of such products would result in huge losses due to failure of these networks.
The defendant in this case copied the product and the trade name of the plaintiff in identical terms. Further, they were also using the word ‘CISCO SYSTEMS’ on its products with the ‘Bridge Device’. The plaintiff invoked Section 29(6)(c) of the Trade Marks Act, 1999.
Prima-facie case was made out for grant of ex-parte ad interim relief. The defendants or any person acting under their authority were restrained from marketing, selling, offering for sale, importing, manufacturing or dealing with in any manner, hardware components pertaining to computer or any electrical/electronic goods bearing the trademark ‘CISCO’ and/or using the ‘Bridge Device’ or any other trademark/mark deceptively similar thereto.
It was observed that Section 140 of the Trade Mark Act, 1999 makes statutory provisions whereunder the Collector of Customs could prohibit the importation of goods if the import thereof would infringe Section 29(vi)(c) of the Trade Marks Act. Statutory authorities must prohibit import of such products, import whereof would result or abet in the violation of the proprietary interest of a person in a trademark/trade name.
Therefore, directions were issued by the High Court of Delhi to the Collector of Customs to notify at all ports that no consignment, other than that of the plaintiff, be permitted to be imported in respect of routers, switches and cards which bears the trade mark ‘CISCO’ and/or the ‘Bridge Device’. A local Commissioner was also appointed to cease all goods bearing the mark in issue and inventory the same.
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