In Videocon case, the Bombay High Court held that the Videocon company has deceptively imitated a washing machine design registered by Whirlpool and restrained it from manufacturing the same design washing machines.
A leading manufacturer of home appliances, Whirlpool India, had moved the high court for an injunction against Videocon’s manufacturing of a washing machine that was launched in June this year stating that it had a striking similarity with a washing machine designed and registered by it in July 2009.
“After perusing the photographs of their respective washing machines submitted by the plaintiff (Whirlpool) and the defendant (Videocon), it appears that Videocon by merely using different colour scheme and putting some different lines and ornamentation has imitated Whirlpool’s registered design,” Justice B R Gavai observed in an order passed on July 25.
Stating that there has been an infringement of the registered design, the court said, “If an injunction as sought by the plaintiff is not granted, an irreparable injury would be caused to the plaintiff.”
Senior counsel Venkatesh Dhond appearing for Whirlpool argued that “Whirlpool has been producing this product since September 2010 and has so far sold machines worth Rs 308 crore. However in June this year, Videocon, its competitor in the market, deceptively imitated the design and manufactured its own machines which have striking similarity with the machines produced by Whirlpool”.
While on the part of Videocon its counsel Virag Tulzapurkar argued that its product has major variations like colour scheme, composition of lines, pattern and ornamentation.
However court observed that perusal of the design which is registered by Whirlpool shows that the uniqueness of its design is the rectangular shape on one side and the semicircular shape on the other.
“…., Whirlpool has registered trade design of such kind. The very uniqueness of the shape, in my considered view, is a novel and unique object of the plaintiff’s designs,” Justice Gavai observed.