HINDUSTAN UNILEVER LIMITED Vs. RAHUL SHAW
HIGH COURT OF CALCUTTA
HINDUSTAN UNILEVER LIMITED
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(1.) The petitioner, being the plaintiff in a suit for infringement of trademark and copyright has filed the present
application praying for, various interim reliefs against the
(2.) The petitioner company is a part of the Unilever Group and carries on the business, inter alia, of manufacturing, marketing
and sale of various kinds of washing soaps, including detergent.
It is claimed that since 1959, the petitioner company adopted and
commenced use of detergent products under the trade name "SURF".
The petitioner company has continued to use the said trade mark
consisting of the word "SURF" openly, extensively and continuously
in the course of trade in respect of the detergent products
manufactured by them. In the year 1996, the petitioner company
started use of the trade mark "SURF EXCEL" with respect to its
premium range of detergent powder products with superior quality
and technology. It has subsequently introduced detergent bars,
detergents liquids and 'matic' (machine wash) powders and liquids
specifically for modern washing machine usage, under the same
trademark "SURF EXCEL". By virtue of long, extensive and
continuous use of the trademark "SURF"/ "SURF EXCEL" upon and in
respect of the said goods, the trademark "SURF/SURF EXCEL" has
acquired a secondary meaning as indicating to the goods
originating from the petitioner company and from none else.
(3.) In order to distinguish their said product under the brand name "SURF EXCEL" from the detergents of the other manufactures,
the petitioner has bona fide adopted a unique, artistic and
distinctive logo (hereinafter referred to as "the said logo") for
use upon and in relation to their detergents and like goods under
brand "SURF EXCEL". The said logo portrays a device of a 'Splat'
created by a drop of liquid on a hard surface with five appendages
stemming out from its core, spreading towards different
directions. The said appendages are wider at the periphery and
narrower towards the core of the said splat. The appendage at the
centre left position of the said splat is of the smallest in size,
while the appendage at the bottom right of the said splat is the
biggest in size. The other three appendages are of almost equal
size. The said logo is predominately used by the petitioner
company in the combination of either orange and green or pink and
orange, upon and in relation to their "SURF EXCEL" range of goods
packed and/or sold, inter alia, in artistic packaging/under
artistic trade dresses. A representation of the petitioner's said
logo shown in the combination of orange and pink is disclosed as
Annexure "A" to the petition. The petitioner company has secured
registration of all the said logos under the Trade Marks Act, 1999
and copies of the relevant registration certificates bearing nos.
1486109, 1780462, 1486108 and 1486107 (all in class 03) reflecting the respective logo have been disclosed in the petition as
Annexures "B", "C", "D" and "E" to the petition, respectively. The
petitioner is also the registered proprietor of the word "Excel"
with respect to all goods in Class 3. A copy of the certificate of
registration of the said Trade Mark issued in favour of the
petitioner has been annexed as Annexure "F" to the petition. The
subject matter of the present proceedings, inter alia, is also
one of the petitioner's flagship product variant 'Easy Wash'
sold under the trade mark "SURF/ SURF EXCEL". The petitioner
company has been using the said splat device along with a blue
background for "Surf Excel Easy Wash", formerly known as "Surf
Excel Blue", since the adoption of the new logo in 2005.;
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