Home / Business / Bombay HC directs a defendant in IPR dispute to pay Rs 5 crore to charity as deterrence

Bombay HC directs a defendant in IPR dispute to pay Rs 5 crore to charity as deterrence

MUMBAI: Invoking a quote of Mahatma Gandhi’s which said, “There is a sufficiency in the world for man’s need but not for man’s greed”, in a trademark battle, the Bombay high court imposed costs of Rs 5 crore on a set of persons to be paid to Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai.

The case was filed by Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation against Kishor Jain and others this year. Justice SJ Kathawalla who heard the dispute in his order described it as, “The present case is the quintessential illustration of the extent to which a few un-scrupulous persons, such as the present defendants, can go, in order to make a quick buck. It is utterly unfortunate that such people have absolutely no regard for ethics or principles and in the bargain they make an irreparable dent to the reputation of our country.”

Nippons Steel had approached the HC on the basis of a complaint received from a steel company in Saudi Arabia over quality of carbon seamless pipes used for laying pipes in oil plants. The pipes were purchased from the defendants believing it to be manufactured by Nippon. Nippon made inquiries to learn that defendants were “falsely representing” and “misleading” the Saudi company.

On 26th March 2019, the HC had restrained the defendants from infringing the plaintiff’s registered trade marks and appointing a court receiver to seize the impugned goods in the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) dispute.

Justice Kathawalla quizzed Jeetendra Burad, the second defendant who “initially avoided giving the answer but later informed this Court that he was purchasing the pipes from the local market at Navi Mumbai.” Advocate Hiren Kamod, appearing for Nippon Steel, “submitted that the defendants have admitted to selling spurious seamless steel pipes and fabricating 56 inspection certificates…”

Justice Kathawalla said, “While the parties are willing to settle the matter here, I am of the view that an example must be made of the present defendants, to deter such entities or persons from conducting such fraudulent activities. They must know that the courts are no longer willing to let such activities slide by and shall deal with the same with an iron hand.” He added in the order of April 15, uploaded late on Wednesday night, “This would have been a fit case to order an enquiry by the state machinery into the afairs of the defendants, however, considering the fact that the defendants have disclosed their operations in detail, I am inclined to give one final opportunity to the defendants to mend their ways. Though no amount of costs can justify the acts of the defendants, I think costs of Rs 5 crore shall certainly act as a deterrent factor not only to these defendants but also to the other unscrupulous entities.”

News credit : Indiatimes