Delhi HC rejects ITC plea on patent infringement

A single-member bench of Justice S Ravindra Bhatt dismissed ITC's plea alleging the festive pack of the cigarette brand Marlboro was deceptively similar to its 'Namaste' trademark and it may create confusion among traders and consumers.
The court also imposed a cost of Rs 75,000 on ITC and directed it to pay Phillip Morris SA within four weeks.

Justice Bhatt did not agree with ITC's contention that rotation of Marlboro's trade mark in the festive special pack was similar to its 'Namaste' trademark and it was an attempt by Phillip Morris SA of 'blurring' and 'slurring' of its logo.

"There is no linkage between defendant's mark (Marlboro) and plaintiff (ITC) ... It is different with artistic impression ... plaintiff is not entitled to any injunction," said Justice Bhatt.

The court also said ITC would have to bring stronger facts to back up such allegations.
In its petition, ITC had requested the court to pass an order restraining Phillip Morris SA along with its director, chairman and promoters among others from using the festive logo.

ITC had submitted that Marlboro's new logo was entirely different from its international one and "the use of Welcome Group similar logo by defendant would result in confusion among the traders and the purchasing public."

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