FLAMAGAS, S A ("Flamagas"), a Spanish company incorporated in 1959, is engaged in the business of manufacturing and selling a wide range of refillable pocket lighters. Flamagas claims to have pioneered refillable gas lighters which are globally famous under its registered mark CLIPPER. The Clipper is a unique wing shaped lighter with an additional feature of a removable flint for refilling its fuel. Flamagas has protected this shape under trademark and copyright laws.

Flamagas along with its Indian counter-part filed a suit Flamagas, S A & Anr v. Mr. Ojas B Shah CS (COMM) 99/2017 & I.A. 15219/2015 at the Delhi High Court, for trademark and copyright infringement against the defendant, Mr. Shah. The defendant was selling counterfeit lighters in which the characteristic shape of the Clipper was copied. The Court observed that a clear case of infringement was made out against Chandra Agencies (the name under which Mr. Shah was trading). The original and duplicate products are displayed below:

Flamagas's discreet investigations revealed that Chandra Agencies imported these counterfeit lighters from China for sale in Delhi and Kolkata.

There was no seizure and therefore Flamagas's claims of rendition of accounts, delivery of counterfeit stock, invoices etc. could not be granted. The Court also could not award damages to Flamagas due to insufficient evidence. However, since a case of infringement was apparent, exemplary costs which included lawyers' fees as well as court fees were awarded against the defendants.

Compiled by: Adv. Sachi Kapoor | Concept & Edited by: Dr. Mohan Dewan

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