Delhi HC grants ex-parte injunction in trademark infringement lawsuit by ‘VOLVO’

Granting interim relief to the owners of the trademarks ‘VOLVO’ and ‘FMX’, the Delhi High Court prohibited Lamina Suspension Products Limited from using the said marks or any other similar marks in a confusing or misleading manner, with respect to the leaf springs and other parts used in heavy vehicles or other goods or services, including on its websites, social media accounts…

Granting interim relief to the owners of the trademarks ‘VOLVO’ and ‘FMX’, the Delhi High Court prohibited Lamina Suspension Products Limited from using the said marks or any other similar marks in a confusing or misleading manner, with respect to the leaf springs and other parts used in heavy vehicles or other goods or services, including on its websites, social media accounts and other third party websites.

Judge Jyoti Singh granted an ex parte interim injunction to plaintiffs who offered a wide range of transportation-related products and services with a strong presence in luxury buses and related services.

Defendant’s act of using a mark identical to Plaintiffs’ trademarks “VOLVO” and “FMX” amounts on its face to a violation of Plaintiffs’ statutory and common law rights. The plaintiffs have established a prima facie case. The balance of convenience is in favor of the plaintiffs and they are likely to suffer irreparable harm if the injunction, as requested, is not granted,“said the court.

Plaintiff 1, namely Aktiebolaget Volvo, adopted the brand name VOLVO in 1915 and was an international motor vehicle and transport group, now widely known in the heavy-duty vehicle industry.

Claimant 3 claimed to have a prominent position as a producer and distributor of a range of premium cars including sedans, wagons, sports wagons, off-road cars and SUVs. The plaintiffs manufactured products and provided related services worldwide under the “VOLVO” brand.

Observing that Defendant’s act of using a mark identical to Plaintiffs’ trademarks “VOLVO” and “FMX” amounted on its face to a violation of Plaintiffs’ statutory and common law rights, the Court ordered as follows:

“Accordingly, as a temporary ex parte ad injunction, defendant, its subsidiaries, affiliates, franchisees, owners, officers, servants, agents, distributors, dealers, representatives and anyone acting for or on its behalf are barred from ‘use Plaintiffs’ name/trademarks “VOLVO” and “FMX” and/or any similar confusing or misleading name/mark, in connection with leaf springs and other parts used in Plaintiffs’ heavy vehicles or any other goods or services, in any manner whatsoever, including on its websites, including www.laminasprings.com and www.laminasuspension.com, social media accounts, third party websites, including but not limited to ‘limited thereto, www.indiamart.com or any representations made online by the defendant, its affiliates, subsidiaries and anyone acting for or on its behalf, until the next court date.’

The development came in a lawsuit filed for a permanent injunction to restrain the defendant from using the trademark “VOLVO” and “FMX” or any other trademark similar to the plaintiffs’ trademark in a deceptive manner.

It was argued on behalf of the plaintiffs that the mark “Volvo” had been declared to be a well-known mark as defined in section 2(l)(zg) of the Trade Marks Act 1999 by a division bench of the Bombay High Court. in the case entitled Aktiebolaget Volvo of Sweden v Volvo Steels Ltd. from Gujarat (India).

It was alleged that the said mark was recognized by the Trademark Registry and the VOLVO mark was included in the list of well-known marks.

It was also argued that the plaintiffs became aware of the defendant’s business in July 2021, through credible sources in the market indicating that the defendant was engaged in the manufacture, sale, trade, supply and export of a wide range of leaf springs and automotive leaf springs under the brand names “VOLVO” and “FMX”.

The Court was informed that further investigations revealed that the defendants were supplying their infringing goods under the brands ‘VOLVO’ and ‘FMX’ across India through direct orders and also through the IndiaMart e-commerce portal.

By issuing a notice in the lawsuit, the Court ordered the defendant to file a sworn statement of accounts and assets within two weeks.

The Court also prevented the defendant from disposing of or dealing with its assets in a manner that could impair the plaintiffs’ ability to recover damages, costs or other pecuniary remedies.

Title of the case: AKTIEBOLAGET VOLVO & ORS. v. LAMINA SUSPENSION PRODUCTS LIMITED

Quote: 2022 LiveLaw (Deleted) 197

Click here to read the order

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