Explaining ‘sameness’ in designs, the Delhi High Court maintains injunction in favor of Vega Auto Accessories

The Hon’ble Delhi High Court maintained injunction order in favor of Plaintiff Vega Auto Accessories which restrained the Defendant from making, selling, offering for sale, advertising and directly or indirectly dealing in helmets amounting to infringement of Plaintiff’s registered design and particularly the helmets under Defendant’s mark ‘POWER’.

The Plaintiff and Defendant are both Indian companies involved in the business of manufacturing and selling helmets. The Plaintiff obtained registration for its design on 13th August, 2014 whereas, the Defendant obtained registration for its impugned product on 1st March, 2017.

The Defendant contended that the Plaintiff’s design was invalid as it lacked novelty and had already been published prior to its registration. The Hon’ble Court relying on precedents set by previous judgments stated that:

  • A litigant is not allowed to blow hot and cold at successive stages of the same litigation or another litigation.
  • Once, an applicant has claimed his design to be new or original and having not been prior published and being distinguishable from known designs, he cannot oppose the claim for infringement by a prior registrant, if his design is identical to that of the prior registrant, by contending that there is no newness or novelty in the design of the Plaintiff and/or that the design of the Plaintiff was prior published.
  • Sameness of the features does not necessarily mean that the two designs must be identical in all points and should differ on none – they have to be substantially the same. It was further held that the Court must address its mind as to whether the design adopted by the Defendants was substantially different from the design which was registered.

Considering registered designs of both, Plaintiff and Defendant, the Court finally held that the Plaintiff has a prima facie case. Needless to add that continued infringement of the registered design of the Plaintiff by the Defendant would cause injury to the Plaintiff which cannot be compensated monetarily or otherwise. The balance of convenience is also in favor of the Plaintiff and against the Defendant, and maintained the injunction order.


Contributors to present post are Ankush and Mitali.

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