In an ad-interim relief to Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL), which had announced that it would rebrand its skin-lightening cream ‘Fair & Lovely’ to ‘Glow and Lovely’ and its skin cream for men will be called ‘Glow and Handsome,’ the Bombay High Court on Monday, pending hearing, restrained Emami Limited, which owns ‘Fair and Handsome’ brand of products, from initiating any legal proceedings against HUL without prior notice of seven days.
A single judge bench of Justice B P Colabawalla heard through videoconference 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 HUL on July 2 had said that it would rebrand its skin-lightening cream ‘Fair & Lovely’ to ‘Glow & Lovely,’ after facing backlash that the name promoted negative stereotypes towards darker skin tones. Its skin cream for men will be called ‘Glow & Handsome’, Hindustan Unilever said.
Senior counsel Virag Tulzapurkar and advocate Hiren Kamod for HUL sought an urgent hearing on Monday and submitted that HUL was seeking ad-interim relief that the defendant Emami Ltd should give at least seven days prior written notice to it before initiating any legal proceedings in any court or claiming any interim relief against HUL as threatened in the statements made by it.
The HUL said that on September 7, 2018, after conducting a search in the Register of Trade Marks, it had coined and adopted the trademarks ‘Glow & Lovely’ and ‘Glow & Handsome’ for skin care products. HUL further said that Emami gave statements in various newspapers threatening to adopt legal action against HUL for violating rights in its mark ‘Emami Glow and Handsome’. Seeking interim relief against alleged threat, plaintiff HUL sought an ex-parte order.
After hearing submissions, Justice Colabawalla 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.” The court posted further hearing on July 27.
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