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Delhi HC orders Pioneer Herbals to consider changing its trade dress in petition filed by Bajaj Almond Drops hair oil

Bajaj Almond Hair Oil had filed a petition against Pioneer Herbals alleging infringement of trademark in their flagship product

The Delhi High Court has asked Pioneer Herbals to consider changing its trade dress while adjudicating on a trademark infringement suit filed by hair oil manufacturer, Bajaj.

Bajaj Resources Pvt Ltd had filed a petition against Pioneer Herbals, the defendant, in June last year alleging infringement of trademark in their flagship product ‘Bajaj Almond Drops’ Hair Oil.

The plaintiff said that its trade dress, including the shape of the bottle, the brown coloured cap and the ‘U’ shaped label, along with the droplets replacing the ‘O’ in Bajaj Almond Drops were a registered mark since 2007.

The plaintiff had stated that the defendants, Pioneer Herbals, had used the infringing ‘Pioneer Almond Care’ label and container for one of its products, which is very similar to the trade dress of Bajaj. The counsel for the plaintiff had also pointed out that the defendants had a separate trademark registration number for a label, which is different from what they were using for their products.

The plaintiff also alleged that the defendant deliberately chose to adopted the impugned infringing container, label and trade dress.

Justice Prathiba M Singh said in the order, “In view of the facts of the present case and the above legal position, this Court is prima facie of the opinion that if the Plaintiffs’ and the Defendants’ products are stocked together in any shop or retail outset, there is a clear likelihood of the Defendants’ product being associated or connected with the Plaintiffs or confused with the Plaintiffs’ products. Under these circumstances, the Court was inclined to pass an injunction order, however, ld. Counsel for the Defendants submits that he wishes to seek instructions from his client as to whether the Defendants would be willing to change to a non-infringing label, container with a different trade dress as also in respect of stocks of the infringing products that are available with the Defendants.”

Since Pioneer Herbals has been using the containers and labels since 2013, the court granted time to the defendants to revert with instructions as to the time that may be required for changing over from using the containers with the impugned trade dress as also for producing the stock statement of the existing stocks of the products of the defendants packed in the impugned containers/bottles.

The next hearing has been scheduled for May 20, 2022.

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