India: Delhi High Court Grants Injunction To Gillette India Ltd. Against Reckitt Benckiser In A Suit For Disparagement

In a recent case of Gillette India Limited Vs. Reckitt Benckiser (India) Pvt. Ltd. CS(OS) 251/2016, the Delhi High Court, vide its order dated June 1, 2016, granted an interim injunction to Gillette India Ltd. restraining Reckitt Benckiser (India) Pvt. Ltd. from publishing disparaging advertisements against its VENUS razors.


  • The Plaintiff is Gillette India Ltd. which manufactures razors for hair removal and sells these razors under the trademark "VENUS" and "SIMPLY VENUS". Plaintiff's razors have a typical light blue colour.
  • The Defendant, Reckitt Benckiser (India) Pvt. Ltd, manufactures and sells hair removal creams under the trademark "VEET".
  • In the impugned video advertisement, the Defendant's product "Veet" hair removal cream is stated to cause smoothening of skin upto twice as long as shaving, while showing a blue razor in the background in a comparing manner.
  • The Plaintiff brought a suit for injunction and damages against an allegedly disparaging video advertisement issued by the Defendant. The Plaintiff also filed an application for grant of ad interim injunction against the defendant to prevent it from issuing, broadcasting, printing or publishing the impugned advertisement, or in any way disparaging the goodwill and reputation of the Plaintiff's products.


  • That the razor shown in the impugned advertisement issued by the defendant is blue in colour and hence it necessarily has a co-relation only to the plaintiff's razor, as no other company sells blue razors.
  • The defendant, while showing a razor for hair removal in the impugned advertisement does not show the razor with use of foam. Such use of foam is a necessary pre-condition before use of the razor of the plaintiff, this has been provided in the printed instructions on the product of the plaintiff.
  • That the disclaimer of ordinary razors is shown in extremely fine print in the impugned advertisements, whereas it should be bolder as to be seen in normal way by the ordinary customer.
  • That the claims of the defendant that their hair removal cream is twice as good as a razor do not merely amount to puffery, they are malicious in nature because they are not supported by any evidence of an independent/ neutral body.
  • That in the impugned advertisement, the use of razors is shown to leave a stubble. Since this fact is false, the defendant should also be restrained from airing the advertisement containing that portion which shows that use of the razors including that of the plaintiff leaves a stubble.
  • Further, in the advertisement, while comparing the cream of the defendant with the razor, use of the cream is shown on a fairer skin while the use of a razor is on dark skin. This contains an undertone that use of the razor leads to skin-darkening, which is also false.


  • That the shape of the razors manufactured and sold by the plaintiff are totally different to the razors shown in the advertisement and hence there is no disparagement of the goods of the plaintiff in the impugned advertisement.
  • That in another advertisement issued by the plaintiff itself, the plaintiff's razor has been used without foam. Therefore, the plaintiff cannot contend that the defendant must show the use of the razor in the impugned advertisement along with the application of foam or lather.
  • That reliance is to be placed on the report of Global Depilatories R&D Laboratory, Hull, UK, which gives a conclusion that "Veet" hair removal cream causes smoothening of skin upto twice as long as shaving. The claims in the impugned advertisement are thus, true.


  • The Court perused the judgment of the division bench of the Delhi High Court in Dabur India Ltd. Vs. Colortek Meghalaya Pvt. Ltd. & Anr., 167 (2010) DLT 278 (DB), which had taken into consideration the Supreme Court decisions in Tata Press Ltd. v. MTNL & Ors., (1995) 5 SCC 139, and Colgate Palmolive (India) Ltd. v. Hindustan Unilever Ltd., (1999) 7 SCC 1. After such perusal, the Court opined that in Dabur India, it was held that if an advertisement extends beyond the grey areas and becomes a false, misleading, unfair or deceptive advertisement, such an advertisement would not have the benefit of protection of law.
  • The Court held that the use of blue colour by the defendant is not justifiable. According to the Court, the defendant's argument that the shape of the razor was different could not be supported, because the defendant could have used any other colour, and the use of blue colour means that a viewer would necessarily co-relate the razors in the advertisement with the razors of the plaintiff. Grave and irreparable harm was therefore being caused to the plaintiff's reputation and goodwill by the impugned advertisement.
  • With regard to the question of showing use of the razor without foam or lather, the Court held that the plaintiff cannot contend that injunction should be granted on this aspect, as the plaintiff has conceded that in its instructions given in the cover of the razor, use of the foam is only said to be a better alternative while using the razor and it is not that the use of the foam is said to be mandatory.
  • It was held by the Court that the report of Global Depilatories R&D Laboratory, Hull, UK, cannot be accepted by the Court as the report was commissioned at the instance of the defendant and was not the report of a neutral third party. Therefore, the defendant cannot claim on the basis of this report that its cream is twice as good as the razor.
  • The submission of the plaintiff that the advertisement creates an impression in the mind of a viewer that use of the razor causes darkening of skin was rejected, it was held that no such conclusion can be reached.
  • It was held that the plaintiff cannot obtain an ad interim injunction in its favour on the argument that the advertisement shows the use of a razor leaving a stubble, as it relied on a report that was self-commissioned and was not the report of a neutral third party.
  • It was held that the exact conditions to be laid down for airing or non-airing of the impugned advertisement shall be determined at the stage of final adjudication in the injunction application. Ad interim injunction was held to be sufficient to protect the rights of the parties to the suit, since there could not be a perfect solution to the problem until the parties complete their pleadings.
  • The defendant was directed to file its written statement within four weeks, and the plaintiff to file its replication within four weeks thereafter. Parties were directed to file the documents in their power and possession within six weeks for admission/denial. Listed before the Joint Registrar for marking of exhibits to the documents on August 30, 2016.

The matter is fixed in the Court for framing of issues and disposal of pending applications on September 26, 2016.

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.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.