Delhi HC restrains 3 Chinese companies from infringing ‘HTC’ trademark

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The Delhi High Court on Wednesday restrained three Chinese companies from using the ‘HTC’ Trade Mark on their hair-grooming products as it is deceptively similar to the trademark of the Taiwanese tech giant HTC.

Justice Asha Menon was dealing with the dispute between plaintiff HTC and the defendants — Yongkang Geenew Imp and Exp Co, Ltd, Yongkang Xinshiji Hairdressing Tools Factory, and Yongkang Xinji Hair Dressing Appliance Factory.

As per the plea, the Chinese companies are manufacturers of electric hair trimmers, hair clippers, and hair dryers bearing identical infringing Trade Mark/HTC in China and exporting the same to the other defendants in India. These defendants are also selling their products through Amazon India website, it said.

The court observed that in the present case, since both the Trade Marks are registered, all the facts would have to be considered holistically to determine whether or not the plaintiff is entitled to interim protection.

However, it was noted HTC of the Taiwanese company, which was founded in 1997, stands for High Tech Computer, has gained immense recognition and popularity and indicates the origin of the products of the plaintiff. In contrast, defendants said that their HTC stood for High Tech Trimmers and Clippers, and that they have started use only in 2013, and are thus “subsequent user”.

The court noted that these alphabets do not adequately stand for the products of the defendants, as it would then be “HTTC”. It is clear, whereas the plaintiff has a logical explanation for using random alphabets in their Trade Mark, which, in course of time, has acquired a distinctiveness leading to even a change in the corporate name, the defendants have none, the court order said.

It was also highlighted by the court that the quality of the goods led to the reputation of the trademark HTC, which thus became an indicator of the origin of the goods. The action of the defendants, on the other hand, has no valid explanation and under no circumstance, can be taken as indicative of the origin of the products of the defendants.

20220406-212206

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