RUBIKS BRAND LTD. & ANR. Vs. MAHESH VAMAN MANJREKAR & ORS.
HIGH COURT OF BOMBAY
Rubiks Brand Ltd. And Anr.
Mahesh Vaman Manjrekar And Ors.
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G. S. Patel, J. -
(1.) This is one of those rare passing off actions that ought to be decreed the moment it is filed. The 1st Defendant is a film maker of some repute. It seems he proposes to make a film in Marathi, Rubik's Cube. He seems to believe that this, the name of an extremely popular puzzle, one that has achieved almost legendary status in the public domain, is one that he can freely adopt and use at will, including as the title of his feature film. He ought to be disabused of this notion as rapidly as possible.
(2.) There is a two volume plaint with copious detail as to how the Plaintiffs have rights in respect of this well known puzzle and toy. They have international registrations. Plaintiff No. 1 has the exclusive right to market and distribute the Rubik's Cube puzzle. There are figures annexed to the Plaint and in the body of the Plaint attesting to the high sales of these products. It is hard to believe that the Defendants are unaware of this. The very word Rubik's Cube is an invented and coined work when attached to this puzzle. Rubik's Cube connotes one and only one item, viz., this puzzle or toy. Although there may be variants in the puzzle, the entire mark connote only this puzzle and this puzzle comes only from the Plaintiffs and no one else.
(3.) In addition, the Plaintiffs have registration of the mark Rubik's Cube in international jurisdictions. All of these are set out in the plaint. I am not concerned with the intention of the 1st Defendant in adopting the mark as the title of his forthcoming Marathi feature film. It is well settled in passing off that intention is immaterial and that fraud is not a necessary element. The three tests are well known. As to reputation and goodwill, there is nothing that Defendants can possibly say to assail the Plaintiffs' claims to both.;
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