Zino Davidoff sues Indian firm for using its trademark

New Delhi, Dec 9 | Updated: Dec 10 2004, 05:30am hrs
In yet another case of foreign firms seeking legal remedies against counterfeiting, the international lifestyle company Zino Davidoff SA with revenues worth 191 million euros has moved the Delhi High Court to restrain Delhi-based Oscar International from using its reputed trademark Davidoff or any deceptively similar name.

Zino Davidoff is a well recognised name worldwide for cigarettes, shirts and ties, tobacco, clothing, shoes, leather articles, glasses, coffee, perfumes, and watches.

According to its counsel Manmohan Singh, the company is registered in over 130 countries and has been using the Davidoff mark since 1911. The mark is associated with an upmarket, luxury image worldwide.

The company has accumulated enormous reputation and goodwill in the name Davidoff through years of innovation and hard work. Besides, it has acquired highest level of distinctiveness and has become an undisputed symbol for luxury and excellent quality, he said.

Holding Oscar international, the manufacturer of its counterfeit goods, is responsible for committing a statutory offence of violation of trademark Davidoff, he said. The defendants had attempted to make a deliberate misrepresentation to the consumers by claiming that the goods were those of the petitioners, the counsel for Zino Davidoff alleged.

It has tremendous sales running into several millions of dollars for goods sold under the mark. The use of the mark as a trademark by defendants would be detrimental to the well-known character and reputation of Davidoff mark.

On being alerted about the activities of the defendants, the company purchased shirts bearing the trademark Davidoff and had identified Delhi-based Oscar International as the alleged manufacturer and wholesaler of counterfeit Davidoff apparels.

According to the company, Collection Gallery/Fashion View International, Karron Outfits aka Davidoff Gallery, Jindals aka Davidoff Gallery were acting as authorised dealer/ franchisee for Oscar International.

The outer packaging, label and taglines for shirts bore the mark. The name was displayed prominently with the catch phrase Authorised dealers of Davidoff shirts, Zino Davidoff said.