August 12, 2015 12:59:53 am
The Audi TT may be a dream car for many. But German auto maker Audi has been restrained, for the time being, from using the brand name ‘TT’ to sell accessories, bags, leather and faux leather goods, or toy cars in India, as it violates the trademark of Delhi-based garment firm TT Industries.
The Delhi High Court, in an order on July 21, has issued an ex-parte interim injunction restraining Audi from using the name ‘TT’ as a brand name for its goods in India, after TT Industries proprietor Rikab Chand Jain filed a plea under the Trademarks Act, alleging that the German firm was violating its internationally known trademark.
TT Industries, which mainly manufactures garments, threads and yarns and other consumer goods, has claimed that its “goodwill” in the market was under threat. The company has sought court orders to permanently restrain Audi GM from using the TT brand name in India.
The company has also sought Rs 25 lakh in damages from Audi GM for “selling car and the related accessories with the mark ‘T T’ clandestinely in Delhi.”
The bench of Justice Najmi Waziri has issued the injunction after noting that TT Industries had “made out a prima facie case for an ex-parte ad interim injunction and in case such an order is not passed at this stage, irreparable prejudice would be caused to them.”
According to the plea filed through advocate Shilpi Jain Sharma, ‘T T’ is a “well known multi-product global brand selling in 65 countries since 1964”, and the Audi group, by using the TT brand, was seeking to “misrepresent” the brand which was “bound to cause damage and injury both to the plaintiff’s business and to plaintiff’s reputation and goodwill.” The injunction plea has also said that the company had challenged the proposed trademark registration request that has been filed by the Audi group before the Trademarks Registry in India.
Jain’s plea has also challenged the trademark registration of the iconic Audi TT coupe in India.
The court has, for now, issued an interim stay on the use of the TT brand name by Audi AG, and has directed Audi AG Germany as well as its India office in Mumbai to file their reply to the plea by November.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Advocate Shilpi Jain Sharma said that the court notice for trademark violation had been sent to the Audi offices in Germany as well as Mumbai.
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