The subject matter in the case, Lacoste & Anr v Global
Impex India CA was the trademark "LACOSTE" and the
"Crocodile Device". Lacoste and Anr (Plaintiffs) filed a
suit against Global Impex India CA (Defendant) for permanent and
mandatory injunction, passing off, infringement of trademark and
copyright among other things.
It was alleged by Lacoste that the Defendant had posted T-shirts
bearing the trademark "LACOSTE" on their websites
"www.alibaba.com" and 'www.ec21.com' for sale.
These websites enable buyers and suppliers in international trade
to source information about each other. It was further alleged that
in addition to the Plaintiffs trademark the Defendants were also
offering for sale, products of other known brands like NIKE, HUGO
BOSS, RALPH LAUREN, PRADA and BURBERRY.
The Plaintiff also alleged that a detailed investigation into
the Defendant's activities in Chennai had revealed that it
carried out its business under the name of "M/s. Global Impex
India" from an apartment in a residential complex without any
name or display board outside the apartment. It was added that the
sale of LACOSTE T-shirts by the Defendant was made only to buyers
outside India. It was also revealed that the said T-shirts were
manufactured on contract basis somewhere in New Delhi. Such
activities of the Defendant lead the Plaintiff to allege that
irreparable harm and injury had been caused to them as
manufacturers and merchants of high quality goods.
On 23.07.2004, the Plaintiffs obtained an exparte order and a
local commissioner to visit the Defendants premises and to seize
the offending goods. The report of the said Local Commissioner
disclosed that two T-shirts bearing the trademark in question were
found at the defendant's premises bearing tags that showed that
they were manufactured at a New Delhi address. By order dated
29.09.2004, the interim order was made absolute. The defendants who
had initially appeared and sought to contest the proceedings,
defaulted in defending the suit and were thus proceeded ex
The Court after a perusal of the affidavit submitted by the
Plaintiff by way of ex parte evidence found the trademark (LACOSTE)
being used by the Defendant identical to that of the Plaintiffs.
Moreover, the Plaintiff had been successful in establishing before
the Court that they were the owners/licensed users of the said
trademark. Also, the Local Commissioner's report clearly
pointed out to the use by the defendant, of the LACOSTE mark, on
the products and wares found in the said defendant's
The Court thus held that on the basis of the evidence the
plaintiffs had established that the defendants had infringed their
registered trademark in respect of the product in question.. Such
an activity did not have any explanation except that the
defendant's actions were deliberate and actuated with mala
fide, with the intention of exploiting the Plaintiff's goodwill
and reputation to cause confusion and deception in the minds of the
public at large. Therefore, permanent injunction was granted in
favour of Lacoste and Anr.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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