No Bottle, Just Bottle

Plaintiffs claim, lock, stock and barrel copying by Defendant. Defendant labels both Plaintiffs and itself as pirates, sailing in high seas of prior art(s).

Hipster Bottles were launched by Plaintiff No. 1 in India in May, 2019. Plaintiff No. 1 is Proprietor of Registered Design No. 306577 in terms of Section 2(1)(j) of The Designs Act, 2000.

Plaintiffs are unamused by emulation of their Hipster Bottle by Defendant and if able to demonstrate a strong prima facie case of infringement/passing off/imitation, injunction should follow. Defendant has laid a challenge to Plaintiffs and has prayed for ‘Cancellation of Design’ under Section 19 of Designs Act.
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The test is not to look out for subtle dissimilarities, but rather, to see if there is substantial and overall similarity. The test has been aptly elucidated by this Court in Symphony Ltd. v. Life Plus Appliances, MANU/DE/0897/2019. It is settled, overall look is to be seen and same is to be judged with naked eye. An intricate examination is not to be done. Court is satisfied on deceptive similarity. Several points drive home, Defendant deliberately and fraudulently imitated Plaintiffs’ Hipster Bottle. At this interim stage, injunction is being granted on account of infringement only.

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Court finds, uniqueness of Plaintiffs’ Registered Design are missing in all cited prior arts. There does not seem to be any difference between ‘novelty’ as mentioned in The Design Rules, 2001 and ‘new and original’ as mentioned in Designs Act, apart from a grammatical one. It merits noting, what is protected under Designs Law is physical manifestation of an idea. Court is prima facie convinced of novelty and originality in Plaintiffs’ Registered Design, inspired by smartphones. Court is unconvinced, Plaintiffs have merely ‘cobbled together’ known integers. There is no merit in prayer for ‘Cancellation of Design’.

Hon’ble Justice Sanjeev Narula of Hon’ble High Court of Delhi, Diageo Brands G.V. v. Great Galleon Ventures Limited, [CS(COMM) 87/2021] decided on 02.08.2022.

Bottle