Trademark row: HC allows Intex to sell Aqua brand mobiles
The Delhi High Court has allowed major mobile phone maker 'Intex' to sell its Aqua brand handsets and accessories in the local market.
A bench of Justices Badar Durrez Ahmed and Ashutosh Kumar passed the judgement while setting aside a single judge's interim order barring Intex from selling its Aqua handsets and accessories, taking note of a trademark infringement plea of market rival 'Az Tech'.
"We feel that respondent (Az Tech) have neither made out a prima facie case in their favour, nor is the balance of convenience in their favour. In fact, irreparable injury would be caused to appellant (Intex) if an injunction were to be granted or continued.
"And, above all, the conduct of Az Tech has not been honest, to say the least. This by itself disentitles them from getting an order of injunction in their favour. Consequently, the judgment (single judge's) is set aside," the bench said.
The division bench verdict came on a plea filed by Intex against the single judge's order of December last year.
Az Tech had moved the single judge against Intex in 2013 alleging that the handset brand of its rival has created confusion among customers due to identical trademark of 'Aqua' and sought interim injunction on the sale.
Granting interim relief, Justice G S Sistani had said "the plaintiffs/applicants, having established a strong prima facie case for priority showing prior use and goodwill in the mark 'Aqua' (and) are entitled to an interim injunction against Intex."
Az Tech, in its plea, before the single judge had claimed it had been selling 'Aqua' trademarked mobile phones in India since 2009 and had expanded its business by venturing into production of earphones, mobile chargers, USB cables and batteries under the brand.
It had alleged that 'Intex' had opted for an identical trademark in 2012 to "have a free ride on its (Aqua Mobiles) goodwill".
Appealing against the single judge's order, Intex had submitted that 'Aqua' as a trademark was incapable of being distinguished for goods of Az Tech only and therefore, the company cannot claim rights over the trademark and seek legal protection.