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  • Writer's pictureVrinda Sehgal

Ceat Obtains Interim injunction Against Unauthorised Dealer

The automobile spare parts industry is becoming a hotspot for trademark and copyright infringement where unauthorised users often portray themselves as dealers or distributors of well-known brands. The crack-down on such infringement may only be possible with a stern judicial approach, as has been recently seen by the Bombay High Court in the case of Ceat Ltd. v. JKM Tyres.

In this case, the Plaintiff claimed trademark and copyright infringement as well as passing off and the Bombay High Court granted an ex-parte ad interim injunction in favour of the Plaintiff, restraining the Defendant from using on their signage the artwork of “CEAT” or using the impugned mark or trade dress in relation to their products, or passing off their goods or services as those of the Plaintiff’s, until the pendency of the suit.

The Court observed the well-known status of the Plaintiff’s trademark “CEAT” as well as the copyright in the artistic work of its label depicted in a stylized manner while the Plaintiff claimed that they found the Defendant’s unauthorised use of the impugned “CEAT” mark under a pirated artwork on the signage of the Defendant’s shop in New Delhi.

It is worth mentioning that the Plaintiff brought to light the fact that the Defendant was using the impugned mark in a different way before it received notice from the Plaintiff. After receipt of this notice however the Defendant only started using a slightly different version of the impugned mark which still incorporated the registered mark and copyright protected label belonging to the Plaintiff.

The Court observed that there was no distinction between the Plaintiff’s mark/label and the impugned mark/label and thus held that this is a case of copyright theft/piracy”. Since the Defendant was not the authorised dealer of the Plaintiff and neither did the Defendant ever have any commercial relations with the Plaintiff, the Court held that the use of the impugned mark was unauthorised and the Defendant could not have conceivable reason to adopt this mark.”

Therefore, the Court granted an injunction in favour of the Plaintiff restraining the Defendant from using on the hoarding/signage/advertising banner/ labeling used on their shop including use upon and in relation to any goods or services of the impugned artwork, trade dress or trademark which is identical with or similar to that of the Plaintiff’s and/or passing off their goods and services as those of the Plaintiff.

For any questions, please write to the author, Ms. Vrinda Sehgal, at


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