Despite repeated attempts, officials at Anchor Health & Beauty Care were not accessible.
The judge JD Kapoor ruled that after careful and cautious consideration he had concluded that the plaintiffs (Colgate) have successfully established a prima facie case for injuncting the defendant (Anchor) from using the colour combination as trade dress on the container and packaging.
Soon after Colgate launched a smart new look toothpowder can in August 2002 comprising the red and white combination with new splashes of yellow, Anchor is said to have come out with a look-alike version. The judge observed in his order, Colour combination, get-up, layout and size of container is sort of trade dress which involves overall image of the products features. Deceptive similarities can cause confusion in the minds of unwary customers.
He further observed, The court is not required to find out whether there is confusion or deceptiveness. The test is whether there is likelihood of confusion or deceptiveness. The subsequent comer (Anchor) has obligation to avoid unfair competition and encashing on the goodwill of the prior comer (Colgate). They have to bank upon their own distinctive features so as to establish merit.
Colgate-Palmolive is the leading provider of oral care products including toothpastes, toothpowder and toothbrushes and a specialised range of dental therapies under Colgate Oral Pharmaceuticals.