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Tuesday, November 24, 2020

‘Glow and Handsome’ row: HC dismisses Emami’s appeal

Emami Limited had challenged an order that restrained it from initiating any legal proceedings against Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL), which rebranded its skin-lightening cream ‘Fair & Lovely’ to ‘Glow and Lovely’ and named its skin cream for men ‘Glow and Handsome,’ without prior notice of seven days.

Written by Omkar Gokhale | Mumbai | Updated: July 17, 2020 2:57:52 pm
bombaBombay High Court, Bombay High Court on RBI loan moratorium, RBI loan moratorium Bombay High Court, India news, Indian Expresshigh court, plea in bombay high court, schools reopening coronavirus, coronavirus lockdown schools, mumbai coronavirus news, latest news A division bench of Justices R D Dhanuka and V G Bisht refused to intervene in the July 6 ex-parte order passed by a single judge bench earlier this month.

The Bombay High Court on Thursday dismissed a plea by Emami Limited, which owns ‘Fair and Handsome’ brand of products, challenging the July 6 order that restrained it from initiating any legal proceedings against Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL), which rebranded its skin-lightening cream ‘Fair & Lovely’ to ‘Glow and Lovely’ and named its skin cream for men ‘Glow and Handsome,’ without prior notice of seven days.

A division bench of Justices R D Dhanuka and V G Bisht refused to intervene in the July 6 ex-parte order passed by a single judge bench earlier this month.

A single-judge bench of Justice B P Colabawalla on July 6 had heard through video conference an interim application filed by HUL under Section 142 of Trade Marks Act, seeking injunction against Emami from issuing groundless threats in view of the use of its trade mark ‘Glow & Handsome’. The judge posted the matter for further hearing to July 27.

Justice Colabawalla had observed, “Prima facie it does appear that having filed its trade mark applications for the mark ‘GLOW & HANDSOME’, the Plaintiff (HUL) is the prior adopter of the said mark.”

On Thursday, a division bench led by Justice Dhanuka heard an appeal filed by Emami seeking to stay the operation, execution and effect of the ex-parte order passed by the High Court on July 6.

Emami, through senior counsel Janak Dwarkadas submitted that the July 6 order was ‘grossly contrary’ to section 142 of the Trade Marks Act and was passed without ‘balance of convenience’ and raised an issue of jurisdiction of the Court to pass such an order. Emami said that the order is likely to be misused by the HUL to impair appellant’s valuable right into legal proceedings.

Senior Counsel Virag Tulzapurkar and advocate Hiren Kamod opposed Emami’s appeal and said that earlier order limited ad-interim relief and was passed as per provisions of Trademarks Act.

After perusing the July 6 decision, a division bench led by Justice Dhanuka noted that the single-judge bench had given liberty to Emami to apply for variation of its order with 48 hours prior notice to the HUL’s lawyers .

The bench said, “We are thus not inclined to interfere with the order passed by the single judge on this ground. Appeal is accordingly dismissed.”

Soon after the July 6 order, Emami issued notice to HUL and filed a Trademark infringement suit against it before the Calcutta High Court, which on July 7 said that simply allowing Emami to file a plaint would not be inconsistent with the specific direction of the Bombay High Court.

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