India’s High Court Grants Bacardi Interim Measures Against Alleged Trademark Infringement – JURIST – News

India’s High Court Grants Bacardi Interim Measures Against Alleged Trademark Infringement – JURIST – News

Delhi High Court on Friday granted provisional relief in a trademark infringement lawsuit against Bacardi and Company Ltd, for its alcoholic beverage called BREEZER by prohibiting the defendant company Bahety Overseas Pvt Ltd to use the brand called FREEZMIX.

Bahety Overseas is a manufacturer of soft drinks. He applied for the registration of the trademark “FREEZ” in July 2015, but the application failed. In September 2020, Barcardi issued a cease and desist notice to Bahety Overseas for using the “FREEZ” trademark. Typically, the owner of the intellectual property issues a cease and desist notice asking the alleged infringer to cease the infringing conduct to avoid formal legal action. Thereafter, Bahety Overseas successfully applied for the trademark “FREEZMIX”. However, Bacardi filed an infringement lawsuit against Bahety for using this trademark.

Superior Court Judge Hari Shankar ruled that Bacardi made a prima facie case for granting an interlocutory injunction on the basis of its trademark infringement. He noted that although the two brands are not visually similar, they are phonetically similar. He argued that what is required is phonetic similarity and not phonetic identity. Furthermore, the court held that even though Bahety’s trademark is FREEZMIX, the suffix “mix” is in such small characters that it is hardly noticeable at first glance.

The court also held that Bahety Overseas had the conscious intention of establishing a trademark that was so similar to Bacardi’s that it “would lead an uninformed and unwary customer to justifiably assume an association between the two brands.” The provisional injunction will remain in effect until the case is resolved.

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