In the matter of The Ritz Hotel Limited v. Canada Fly Consultancy [TM No. 116/18], the Saket (Delhi) District Court, vide its judgement dated January 3, 2019, granted the Plaintiff a permanent injunction against the Defendant’s use of the marks RITZ and RITZ PARIS.
In its suit for infringement and passing off, the Plaintiff relied on its trademark registrations for RITZ and common law rights in RITZ and RITZ PARIS. In addition to its alleged use of the Plaintiff’s company seal on employment offer letters, the Defendant had allegedly been using the domain name <www.ritzparis007.com> and the email address firstname.lastname@example.org for providing overseas employment consultancy and placement services.
The Defendant, duly served, did not file any Written Statement, nor did it appear in (any of) the hearings. Upon closure of the Defendant’s right to file WS, the Plaintiff moved an application under Order VIII R 10 seeking a decree, to which also no Reply was filed by the Defendant.
Noting that “All the documents filed on behalf of the plaintiff are duly supported with an affidavit and there is no reason to disbelieve the averments and contents thereof”, the Court held “In the opinion of this court, the defendant has no real prospect of defending the claim, as it has neither entered appearance nor filed its written statement. Further the plaintiff the registered user of the trade marks in question. Consequently, plaintiff is entitled to a decree for injunction in his favour and against the defendant.”
In holding so, the Court referred to Satya Infrastructure Ltd. and Ors v. Satya Ifra & Estates Pvt. Ltd in which the Delhi High Court had taken the view that “…no purpose will be served in such cases by directing the plaintiffs to lead ex parte evidence in the form of affidavit by way of examination in chief and which invariably is a repetition of the contents of the plaint…I fail to fathom any reason for according any additional sanctity to the affidavit by way of examination in chief than to the affidavit in support of the plaint or to any exhibit marks being put on the documents which have been filed by the plaintiffs and are already on record.”
While decreeing the suit in favour of the Plaintiff, the Court granted it “punitive cum compensatory” damages of INR 100,000.