The Delhi High Court clarified that the plaintiff cannot file a trademark infringement suit at far flung places under the guise that it is carrying on business there when their principal office is situated in some other place.
The Court was entertaining a trademark infringement suit filed by Pepsi alleging that their trademark AQUAFINA has been infringed by the defendants trademark AQUALINA for the packaged drinking water.
Pepsi filed the suit with Delhi High Court on the grounds that they have a subordinate office in Delhi while their principal office was in the State of Haryana.
After reviewing the case law on jurisdiction, the Court said “…..it is clear that the plaintiffs [Pepsi] have invoked the jurisdiction of this court incorrectly. At the cost of repetition, it may be mentioned here that the first plaintiff is a corporation existing under the laws of State of North Carolina, USA having its principal office in New York, USA. The second plaintiff, it being fully owned subsidiary of the first plaintiff, has its principal registered office located in Gurgaon (in the State of Haryana). None of the impugned acts which have given rise to this action of infringement and passing off under the Trade Marks Act has been committed within the territorial jurisdiction of this court.”
“In the entire plaint, there is not even a whisper of an allegation about any acts of commission or omission indulged in by the defendants so as to give rise to cause of action, whether wholly or in part, having been committed within the territorial jurisdiction of this court. The averments that the plaintiffs – ‘came across the defendants’ products under the impugned mark’ is as vague as it could be”, the Court said.