M/s General Electric Company v. Altamas Khan and Ors.
Keywords: Parallel Import, Exhaustion, Trade Mark
The plaintiff, General Electric Co. filed a suit against the defendants to restrain them from misrepresenting themselves as authorized distributors of the plaintiff and from trading as GE Dehumidifiers or in any other deceptively similar trading style and also from importing, exporting, distributing, selling or dealing in Dehumidifiers or any other product of the plaintiff under the trademark GE or GENERAL ELECTRIC or the GE monogram or any other mark as may be deceptively similar to the plaintiff’s trademark.
It was the case of the plaintiff that the plaintiff for the reason of not marketing Dehumidifiers in India was neither giving any warranty nor any after sales service for the said Dehumidifiers in India and the illegal sale thereof by the defendant caused loss of reputation to the plaintiff in as much as the purchasers from the defendants on not being able to claim on the warranty and get the after sales service were likely to think ill of the plaintiff. The defendant had further tampered with the products by erasing the serial and model numbers, which could have helped to identify and track the origin of the products.
Delhi High Court passed an interim injunction restraining the defendant from dealing in General Electric (GE) dehumidifiers without authorization from the plaintiff. It also issues a permanent injunction against the defendants.
The use by the defendants of GE instead of Global Electronics on their invoices clearly indicated that the defendants thereby wanted to pass off their business and their products as that of the plaintiff and intended to confuse and deceive the customers and public at large. Therefore, it was held that the defendants by using the said monogram clearly infringed the trademark of the plaintiff and sought to pass themselves off as the plaintiff.
The present case being an ex-parte matter, the Delhi High Court, however, did not find it appropriate to deal with the issue of parallel importation and trademark infringement.
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