Two top officials of an Indian tyre company had to spend a night in jail and directed by the Delhi High Court to shell out Rs 35 lakh for infringing the trademark of Japanese tyre maker Bridgestone.
Two top officials of an Indian tyre company had to spend a night in jail and directed by the Delhi High Court to shell out Rs 35 lakh for infringing the trademark of Japanese tyre maker Bridgestone. Justice R S Endlaw also restrained the Indian company, Tolin Tyres, and its Managing Director and Director from infringing the Japanese company’s trademark by selling tyres in its name.
The March 17 order was passed after the MD and Director of the company apologised to the court for their actions and offered to compensate the foreign company by paying it Rs 30 lakh and deposit Rs five lakh with Delhi State Legal Services Authority (DSLSA) to avoid criminal contempt proceedings.
The court said, of the Rs 35 lakh, Rs 30 lakh would be paid to the Japanese company to compensate it for the exports made by infringing its trademark and the remaining would be deposited with the DSLSA. The court said “the sum of Rs five lakh cannot purge the blatant falsehood practiced” by the company and its two officials as it “prima facie amounts to interference with the administration of justice”.
However, it said that since the two officials have undertaken to pay Rs 35 lakh by April 30, “it is deemed appropriate not to take any further action against them and at this stage leave them with a caution/warning”. With these directions, the court disposed of Bridgestone’s plea against Tolin Tyres.
The court made it clear that if the two Tolin Tyres officials did not comply with their undertaking, the Japanese company can again initiate legal proceedings.
The court had on March 16 ordered these two official to be kept in police custody overnight as they had to be produced before it the next day.
It had said that the two had been been taking a “blatantly false stand” by denying manufacturing and exporting of tyres under the trademark ‘Bridestone’.
The court had noted that the two had admitted their “falsehood” and apologised for it only after the customs department showed records indicating that Tolin was exporting tyres by describing them as ‘Bridgestone’.