The Delhi High Court awarded ₹4 lakh to US Jeans brand Levi Strauss in a trademark infringement suit.
Justice Pratibha Singh while awarding ₹4 lakh to the leading jeans company said that Levi’s signature ‘Arcuate Stitching Design’ has become an extremely distinctive mark which has gained the status of a well-known mark.
“Considering the long period of 150 years, during which the ‘Arcuate Stitching Design’ mark has been used for Levi’s jeans, trousers, pants and other garments and the factors outlined above, the said mark has achieved the status of a well-known mark. Accordingly, a decree of declaration declaring the said mark as a ‘well-known’ mark in terms of paragraph 76(h) of the plaint is also passed.”
“Accordingly, in recognition of the trademark rights and common law rights in the ‘Arcuate Stitching Design’ mark in favour of the Plaintiff, the suit is decreed in terms of paragraphs 76(a), 76(b), 76(c) and 76(d) of the plaint. The defendants also stand restrained from seeking any statutory rights by applying for trademarks or copyrights in respect of the Arcuate Stitching Design’ mark. If any applications have been filed by the Defendant, the same shall be withdrawn within 30 days.”
The High Court also directed various e-commerce platforms like Nyka, Amazon, Flipkart and Limeroad to remove the images of the products displayed within a period of 30 days.
“All the e-commerce platforms are directed to ensure that the said images containing the ‘Arcuate Stitching Design’ mark of the Plaintiff are removed from their websites and that no further sale of any garments with the ‘Arcuate Stitching Design’ mark is permitted on their platforms by the Defendants.”
Levi Strauss had sought a permanent injunction restraining trademark infringement, copyright infringement, passing off of trademark and other similar reliefs, towards its signature ‘Arcuate Stitching Design’ mark.
It was claimed by the leading brand that it had adopted the said mark in the year 1873 and has been using it on all its textiles, including denim jeans manufactured and sold by the brand.
According to the brand, similar denim jeans with the identical ‘Arcuate Stitching Design’ mark, comprising two arches connecting at the centre of the jeans’ back pockets, were being sold by the defendants on their websites as well as other major e-commerce platforms.
A notice was sent to the defendants by Levi’s. The defendants had submitted an undertaking to Levi’s that they will never use their mark with similar stitching designs, either directly or indirectly. However, the defendants continued manufacturing and selling the said jeans.
The High Court, therefore, noted that even after assuring, the defendants failed to abide by their undertakings, and thus, the defendants shall pay a sum of ₹4 lakhs within four weeks to the Plaintiff.
The court also gave liberty to Levi’s to move court again, if any non-compliance with the order is seen within period of 30 days.