The Delhi HC has sought clarification from Hero MotoCorp over the usage of name ‘X440’ for its bike, which is the bone of contention between the two sides
The trademark infringement case has been listed for next hearing on November 7, 2023
While Ultraviolette claims to own the trademark for the word ‘X44’, Hero MotoCorp appears to have filed a trademark application for ‘X 440’ and even launched a bike under the same name
A full-blown trademark infringement battle has erupted between electric vehicle (EV) startup Ultraviolette and two-wheeler giants Hero MotoCorp and Harley-Davidson.
In the latest development in the legal saga, the Delhi High Court (HC) has issued a notice to Hero MotoCorp seeking clarification over the usage of name ‘X440’ for its bike, which is the bone of contention between the two sides.
In an order dated October 12, a single-judge bench of Justice C Hari Shankar directed Hero MotoCorp to file an explanation or argument by October 26 in the trademark infringement case. Following this, Ultraviolette will have time till November 2 to file a rejoinder in the case, essentially a counter to Hero’s reply.
The matter has been listed for next hearing on November 7.
“After some arguments, Mr. Sibal, learned Senior Counsel for the plaintiff (Ultraviolette) agrees to a short notice being granted to the defendant (Hero) to file a reply to this application before this application is taken up for hearing… List before the Court for hearing and disposal of this application on 7 November 2023,” the HC said.
The case dates back to September 2022 when EV startup Ultraviolette filed a trademark application for the word ‘X44’ under ‘class 12’. In simple words, trademark class 12 pertains to vehicles, including ‘apparatus for locomotion by land, air or water’.
As per data accessed by Inc42, the application was eventually approved and the status now reflects ‘Accepted and Advertised’ on the government website.
However, Hero MotoCorp also filed a similar ‘class 12’ trademark application for the word ‘X 440’ in November 2022 but it is yet to receive approval for it. As per public information, the application has been ‘Opposed’ and is being contested by Ultraviolette.
However, problems for Hero MotoCorp go beyond a simple trademark infringement case. Hero MotoCorp in partnership with Harley-Davidson co-developed and launched the ‘X 440’ bike, starting at a price tag of INR 2.29 Lakh ex-showroom in July.
Eventually, Ultraviolette approached the Delhi HC and filed a trademark infringement case.
Hero MotoCorp has likely spent crores of rupees for publicising the new bike and has even received more than 25,000 booking for its new H-D X440 model. Any blow on the trademark side could lead to an expensive recall.
On the other hand, Ultraviolette could have registered the trademark for a later launch, which remains under wraps as of now.
The case comes at a time when a clutch of big-ticket Indian startups and brands are involved in trademark infringement battles with smaller players. Zomato-owned Blinkit is locked in a similar case with Bengaluru-based company Blinkhit over the former’s name.
Earlier this year, Bengaluru-based Happy Belly Bakes won a four-year-long trademark infringement case against ecommerce giant Amazon and its subsidiaries over the trademark for the words ‘Happy Belly’.
In April, the Delhi HC directed consultancy firm Google Enterprises to pay INR 10 Lakh to tech major Google LLC for infringing upon the search major’s trademark. Last month, the Delhi HC dismissed a plea filed by Policybazaar that sought to prevent other companies from using keywords similar to the fintech major’s trademarks on Google’s AdWords Program.