Estoppel against invalidity in design infringement suits

By Omesh Puri, LexOrbis

Delhi High Court recently held that the registered proprietor of a design could not use the invalidity or prior publication of the plaintiff’s design as a defence in a suit for design infringement.

Omesh PuriAssociate partnerLexOrbis
Omesh Puri
Associate partner

In Vega Auto Accessories (P) Ltd v SK Jain Bros Helmet (I) Pvt Ltd, Vega sought a permanent injunction to restrain Jain Bros from using a helmet design. Both parties had registered the design for their helmets but Vega was the prior registrant. Jain Bros’ main defence was that it also had a registered design and that Vega’s registered design had been pre-published. Jain Bros also argued that the two designs were dissimilar.

The court, relying on its earlier decision in Mohan Lal, Proprietor of Mourya Industries v Sona Paint & Hardwares (2013), held that a suit for infringement of a registered design is maintainable against a registrant of a design.

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Omesh Puri is an associate partner at LexOrbis.

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