Parle Products (P) Ltd. Vs. J.P. and Co., Mysore

Parle Products (P) Ltd. Vs. J.P. and Co., Mysore

AIR 1972 SC 1359


Appellant was manufacturer of biscuits and owner of registered trade mark being a wrapper. This wrapper was used in connection with the sale of their biscuits known as “Parle’s Glucose Biscuits” printed on the wrapper.

In March 1961, Appellant came to know that the Respondent was selling biscuits in a wrapper which was deceptively similar to their registered trade mark.

Respondent’s Contentions:

There was a a lot of difference in the competing wrappers.
Respondent’s wrapper contained the picture of a girl supporting with one hand a bundle of hay on her head and carrying a sickle and a bundle of food in the other.

District Court:

There were greater points of dissimilarity than of similarity between the two wrappers and it was unlikely that the Respondent’s goods could be passed off as and for the goods of the Appellant.

High Court:

Court has to bear in mind that it was dealing with packets of biscuits which were generally used by people of the upper classes.

There were several distinguishing features between the two wrappers.

Similarity in the two wrappers was limited to the extent that both were partly yellow and partly white in colour and both bore the design of a girl and some birds.

The lady in the wrapper used by the Appellant has a pot on her hand while the lady in the wrapper used by the Respondent has a hay-bundle on her head.

Respondent’s wrapper has cows and Appellant’s wrapper has two calves.

Supreme Court:

“Whether one mark is deceptively similar to another, the broad and essential features of the two are to be considered. They should not be placed side by side to find out if there are any differences in the design and if so, whether they are of such character as to prevent one design from being mistaken for the other. It would be enough if the impugned mark bears such an overall similarity to the registered mark as would be likely to mislead a person usually dealing with one, to accept the other if offered to him. In this case we find that the packets are practically of the same size, the colour scheme of the two wrappers is almost the same; the design on both though not identical bears such a close resemblance that one can easily be mistaken for the other. The essential features of both are that there is a girl with one arm raised and carrying something in the other with a cow or cows near her and hens or chickens in the foreground. In the background there is a farm house with a fence. The word “Glucose Biscuits” in one and “Glucose Biscuits” on the other occupy a prominent place at the top with a good deal of similarity between the two writings. Anyone in our opinion who has a look at one of the packets to-day may easily mistake the other if shown on another day as being the same article which he had seen before. If one was not careful enough to note the peculiar features of the wrapper on the plaintiffs’ goods, he might easily mistake the defendants’ wrapper for the plaintiffs’ if shown to him some time after he had seen the plaintiffs’. After all, an ordinary purchaser is not gifted with the powers of observation of a Sherlock Holmes. We have therefore no doubt that the defendants’ wrapper is deceptively similar to the plaintiffs’ which was registered. We do not think it necessary, to refer to the decisions referred to at the Bar as in our view each case will have to be judged on its own features and it would be of no use to note on how many points there was similarity and in how many others there was absence of it.”

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