Lacoste Adopting Stronger Trademark Enforcement Strategy in India

The India Business Law Journal reports that they are seeing increased cases where global brands are bringing trademark infringement cases against local Indian entities. In particular, they report that:

In the case of Lacoste SA v Suresh Kumar Sharma, the court granted a permanent injunction restraining the defendant from using the Lacoste mark. The plaintiff had initially applied to the court to issue a John Doe order (which is passed when the true and exact identity of the defendant is not accurately ascertained) granting a permanent injunction to restrain the violation of the trademark of, and copyright in, its well-known products. The trademark covered clothing, footwear, perfumes, leather goods, watches, eyewear and other related products.

After the court appointed a local commissioner to investigate the matter and report back to the court, an application was made to specify the name of the defendant as shown in the name of the case instead of passing it against anonymous entities. The local commissioner discovered 290 shirts and 850 tags bearing the impugned mark, which were being stored for sale at a location connected to the defendant. No challenge had been made to the report and the court held that the defendant was supplying infringing goods under the Lacoste trademark. The use of the trademark was both an act of infringement and passing off. The court granted a permanent injunction restraining the defendant from using the Lacoste mark and infringing its copyright when supplying the concerned goods.

According to the Journal, “this case is a good example of how big brands are instituting infringement cases to protect their trade names from future infringement, without knowing the exact identities of defendants and where the quantity of goods involved may be small. Read more at Vantage Asia.

Editor’s Note: As always, the counterfeit Lacoste keeps coming, so before you buy make sure you check out my articles on detecting fake Lacoste shirts and detecting fake Lacoste bags, or my detailed discussion of how to authenticate Lacoste.