After losing an important trademark case in the EU earlier this year, Louis Vuitton has won one in India in connection with a number of its registered trademarks. According to our friends over at INTA, “the Delhi High Court passed a decree for permanent injunction in favor of the plaintiff in Louis Vuitton Malletier v. Mr. Manoj Khurana & Ors, relating to the issues of trademark infringement and selling of counterfeit products.” The Paris-based design house filed suit in 2013 against Manoj Khurana & Ors, a seller of counterfeit goods, alleging trademark counterfeiting, passing off, and trademark dilution, and seeking a permanent injunction restraining infringement of its registered trademarks, including “Louis Vuitton,” the “LV” logo and the “Damier pattern.”
In the course of its regular policing efforts, Louis Vuitton discovered that the defendant was engaged in selling counterfeit goods, such as handbags, wallets and belts that bore multiple Louis Vuitton trademarks and designs. Louis Vuitton filed sued for trademark infringement, asserting that “only retail outlets licensed by the plaintiff are authorized to sell original Louis Vuitton goods in India. At present, according to the plaintiff’s website, there are only four such boutiques in India.” To this, the defendant argued that it was under the “wrong belief” that the goods were actually authentic Louis Vuitton goods. The High Court did not find this to be a persuasive argument, stating that “where LV goods are found to be sold outside the exclusive LV stores, an adverse inference is to be drawn that the goods are counterfeit beyond any doubt whatsoever.”
Moreover, according to the court’s decision, which was recently released but dated for this past summer, Louis Vuitton has a number of registered trademarks in India for the aforementioned trademarks in classes of goods that include cosmetics, jewelry, leather goods, and clothing/footwear.
The High Court issued a permanent restraining order against the defendant, thereby affirming that “mistaken belief” will not be considered as a viable defense for the act of infringement of goods.