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COURT JURISDICTION CAN BE INVOKED UNDER CPC OR TRADE MARKS ACT: DELHI HC

The Delhi High Court has recently ruled that the jurisdiction of the Court can be invoked in trademark infringement suits under Section 20 of the Code of Civil Procedure in addition to Section 134 of the Trade Marks Act. The Court clarified that a suit for trademark infringement can be brought before a court having jurisdiction where the plaintiff resides or carries on business; or where the defendant resides or carries on business; or where the cause of action arises.

The facts of the case, briefly, are that the US-based ‘Burger King’ Corporation brought a suit, alleging infringement of its registered trademarks against the Defendants. The Defendants challenged the maintainability of Burger King’s plaint, contending that given Section 134 (2) of the Trade Marks Act, which lays down that a suit for trademark infringement can only be brought before the Court where the Plaintiff resides or carries on his business and that the Delhi High Court did not have the jurisdiction to entertain the suit. However, Burger King contended that they invoked Section 20 of the Civil Procedure Code to file their suit before the Delhi High Court, which allows for the initiation of suits where the Defendant resides or carries on business, or where the cause of action arises.

The Delhi High Court noted that the provision of Section 134 of the Trade Marks Act is in addition to, and not in exclusion of Section 20 of the Civil Procedure Code. Therefore, the Court held that either Section 20 of the Civil Procedure Code, or Section 134 of the Trade Marks Act can be invoked to decide the forum for initiating a trademark infringement suit. Thus, if the Plaintiff can make out a cause of action within the territorial jurisdiction of the Court under Section 20 of the Civil Procedure Code, no reference needs to be made to Section 134 of the Trade Marks Act.

Click here for the order

Tags: Law, Juggement, lawyer, Cases

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