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February 27, 2023

Court Case Bulletin (CCB): Spill Over Advertisement Of A Mark Will Not Confer Jurisdiction Upon A Court

Author: Intern - Akshita Goyal

In the matter of Vivek Purwar and Ors. v. Hari Ram and Sons, [RFA-IPD 4/2022, RFA-IPD 5/2022 and CM 96-99/2022], a Single Judge [Navin Chawla, J.] of the Delhi High Court, vide judgment dated November 2, 2022, held that merely because a party to the suit, in the course of their business, has issued advertisements, which may have a spill over circulation within its jurisdiction, would not vest the Court with the requisite territorial jurisdiction to entertain the suit of trade mark infringement and passing off.

Section 134 (2) of the Trade Marks Act, 1999 states that “…a “District Court having jurisdiction” shall… include a District Court within the local limits of whose jurisdiction, at the time of the institution of the suit or other proceeding, the person instituting the suit or other proceeding or, where there are more than one such persons, any of them actually and voluntarily resides or carries on business or personally works for gain.” The question that therefore arises is whether spill over advertisement of a mark within the local limits of a court constitutes ‘carrying on business’ for conferring jurisdiction upon a Court.

The present suit is a cross-appeal challenging the territorial jurisdiction of the learned Tiz Hazari Courts, Delhi to entertain and try the suit. The Appellant-Defendant contended that the learned Trial Court proceeded to pass a decree in favour of the Respondent-Plaintiff when the learned Court did not have the territorial jurisdiction try the suit. The Respondent-Plaintiff contended that solicitation of a business is an important part of the cause of action as this expresses an intention to use the mark in Delhi, and therefore doing so, within the territorial limits of Delhi, would confer jurisdiction in Delhi. The Appellant-Defendant submitted that its trademarks were advertised in print and electronic media vide newspapers and television channels that targeted only viewers in Uttar Pradesh, and therefore cause of action does not arise within the jurisdiction of Delhi.

The Court observed that “such an advertisement cannot vest jurisdiction in a Court located at Delhi, as the said advertisements were not intended for the customers at Delhi”.  The Court held that spill-over advertisement appearing in print and electronic media by itself would not confer any jurisdiction on the Court, since the parties are admittedly carrying on their business only within the State of Uttar Pradesh. Therefore, the Court set aside the decree passed by the learned Trial Court.

Disclaimer: Views, opinions, interpretations are solely those of the author, not of the firm (ALG India Law Offices LLP) nor reflective thereof. Author submissions are not checked for plagiarism or any other aspect before being posted.

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