Godrej Sara Lee Limited v. Reckitt Benckiser Australia Pvt. Ltd. and Anr.

Godrej Sara Lee Limited v. Reckitt Benckiser Australia Pvt. Ltd. and Anr.

(2010) 2 SCC 535

sas

Two Appeals were filed before the Delhi High Court, against order passed by the Controller of Designs, Kolkata, cancelling two registered designs under Section 19(1) of the Designs Act, 2000. The question for determination before the High Court was whether the Delhi High Court had jurisdiction to entertain the said appeals.

High Court held that it had jurisdiction to entertain the appeals. Hence, the Appellant was constrained to file the present appeal before the Supreme Court of India.

Appellant’s Arguments:

Since the cause of action for the appeal has arisen on account of the cancellation of Designs, it is only the Calcutta High Court, which would have jurisdiction to entertain the appeals under Section 19.

Respondent’s Arguments:

Sections 19 and 22(2)(b) read with Section 22(3) of the Designs Act, 2000, contemplate cancellation of a Design by the Controller of Designs, and punishment for piracy of a Design in any suit in any Court not below that of a District Judge. When a suit was pending before the High Court and a defence as provided for under Section 19 of the Act was taken, the matter had to be decided by the High Court, as an appeal from the Controller’s order would also lie to the High Court under Section 19 which could result in conflict of decisions.

Observations by Supreme Court:

Under Section 19 the power of cancellation of the registration lies wholly with the Controller.

The cause of action in the instant proceedings was most certainly the cancellation of the registered design in the State of West Bengal which gave the Calcutta High Court the jurisdiction to deal with the matter.

It is clear that the cause of action for the suit arose in Kolkata by virtue of the order passed by the Controller in relation to the Appellant’s design.

In the instant case it is the Calcutta High Court which will have jurisdiction to entertain the appeal under Section 19.

The Appeal was allowed.

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