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Court-Case Bulletins
July 26, 2018

Presumption of Originality and Novelty of Registered Design in Absence of Challenge

In the matter of Maya Appliances Pvt. Ltd. v Preethi Kitchen Appliances Pvt. Ltd. and Ors. [2018 (74) PTC 209 (Mad)], a Division Bench of the Madras High Court vacated an injunction against Defendant’s registered design for mixer-grinder.

In its appeal, Defendant had argued (i) overall dissimilarity on the basis of top view and bottom view of designs and (ii) registration of its design being prima facie evidence of novelty. Plaintiff, while refuting dissimilarity with its earlier registered design, had asserted that mere registration of later design is not a valid defense.

While vacating the injunction on the ground of overall dissimilarity of the designs on a side-by-side comparison, the Division Bench observed :

“...if the suit ultimately fails, the harm caused to the defendant appellant would be irreparable as it would be difficult to compute the compensation. The balance of convenience was against the passing of interim orders.

Notably, while each of the parties challenged the opposite side’s design registration in the suit, neither of them had preferred a cancellation action before the Designs Office. On this, the Court observed:

There being no challenge till today to the defendant appellants registration, we have to proceed on the prima facie basis that the design of the defendant appellant is original, novel and had not been published prior to the date of application for registration.

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