Delhi court awards Rs 5 lakh as damages to US brand Levi Strauss in trademark infringement case

A court here has directed a person to pay Rs 5 lakh as damages to US-based jeans manufacturing brand Levi Strauss for trademark infringement and selling identical products using its name and logo.

District Judge Rajeev Bansal was hearing a suit filed by Levi Strauss & Co, seeking a permanent injunction restraining the defendants — Milli Kumari and her company X India — from infringing on the plaintiff’s registered trademark or Levi’s logo.

“Decree of permanent injunction is passed against the defendants thereby restraining from using, displaying, advertising the trademark/label/logo ‘Levi’s’ on their products, stocks, other accessories on the showroom or online marketplace in any form and manner ,” the court said in order passed on Monday.

It also restrained the defendants from using any trademarks that are “deceptively similar” to the plaintiff’s logo. The court directed the immediate destruction of the defendant’s stock bearing the deceptively similar trademark as well.

“Defendant (Milli Kumari) shall also pay Rs 8.5 lakh (Rs 5 lakh as damages and Rs 3.5 lakh as cost of litigation) to the plaintiff within a period of three months,” it said.

The court said that by adopting a deceptively similar logo, the defendants are “not only deceiving the customers but … also causing damage to the goodwill and reputation of the marks of the plaintiff besides causing them financial loss”.

The judge noted that the defendants are running their business both online and through a physical store in Bihar.

Regarding the court’s jurisdiction to try the suit, the judge said the defendant’s store is “virtually available throughout the world, including the places within the territorial jurisdiction of the court”.

“If a physical showroom, indulging in infringement activities, can vest territorial jurisdiction in a court where the physical store is situated, the virtual showroom shall also vest territorial jurisdiction in a court from where the said virtual showroom can be accessed,” the judge said.

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