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April 12, 2018

Plaint against TM & CR in MATWALA returned for lack of territorial jurisdiction

By its order dated March 15, 2018 in the matter of Ashoka Distillers & Chemicals Pvt. Ltd. v. ADS Spirits Pvt. Ltd. [CS (Comm.) 566/2016], the Delhi High Court directed the plaint as returned (with refund of court fees) for want of territorial jurisdiction, with liberty to (re)file it in another Court having territorial jurisdiction.

The suit was for permanent injunction, infringement of trademark and copyright, and passing off.

The Court found the plaint as failing to disclose the impugned product MATWALA as being sold in Delhi for the cause of action to arise in Delhi. Instead, from the suit evidence accompanying the plaint, the Court noted the impugned product labelled as being for sale only outside Delhi, explicitly only in Haryana. Even the Plaintiff’s product was noted by the Court as being similarly labelled.

While the suit averred the Plaintiff as carrying on business in Delhi, the Court noted that the suit disclosed the Plaintiff having its registered address in Haryana.

The Court also declined to entertain Plaintiff’s Counsel’s quia timet argument of apprehended use in Delhi for invoking territorial jurisdiction in Delhi for lack of such a written pleading in the plaint itself.

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