Ecommerce major Flipkart may not be able to use its private label MarQ, marked for its large appliances category. Patiala Court, New Delhi has restrained Flipkart from using the name MarQ after Delhi-based large appliance manufacturer Marc Enterprises approached the Court alleging that it is the violation of the company’s trademark Marc, as MarQ sounds similar and deals with the same category.
The Court has set the further hearing on February 5, 2018, and until that time, Flipkart will not be able to use the label MarQ, reports ET.
Marc Enterprises which primarily sells fans, coolers and geysers submitted that the plaintiff is the user of trademark ‘MARC’ since 1981 and that the trademark is registered since 1984 for electrical goods in class 7, 9, 11, 16 and 21 on different dates. The defendant (Flipkart) had proposed to use trademark ‘MARQ’ for similar or identical goods, therefore, the plaintiff has filed the present suit and the aforesaid application to get relief in the nature of the quatimet action to prohibit the defendant to use the trademark MARQ for its similar or identical goods.
Asking Flipkart to submit its say on February 5, Chandra Shekhar, additional district judge observed that prima facie there is a phonetic similarity between the trademark ‘MARC’ of the plaintiff and trademark ‘MARQ’ of the defendant. The plaintiff has claimed users since 1981, the defendant has claimed users since August, 2017. Therefore, it seems prima facie case, a balance of convenience and irreparable loss are in favour of the plaintiff and against the defendant. Hence, the defendant is restrained to use the trademark ‘MARQ’ for its products in any form and from any platform till next date.
However, Flipkart’s lawyer averred that MARQ is not registered, and the ecommerce marketplace has already applied to get the registration of the same under the Trade Marks Act, 1999.
Flipkart’s lawyer Siddharth Chopra insisted that the trademark ‘MARQ’ is not deceptively similar in any manner and the defendant has already launched its products in the market since August, 2017. The plaintiff was having sufficient knowledge of the same but it did not take any action, therefore, the aforesaid application of the plaintiff may not be allowed.
Flipkart maintained that no notice has been issued to the defendant so far but it has come to know from the cause list that a case is filed by the plaintiff against the defendant. Therefore on instruction of the defendant, he has appeared and he seeks some time to file WS and reply to the interim application.
However, Marc Enterprises alleged that Flipkart is using the MarQ name dishonestly, fraudulently and out of positive greed. Lawyer SK Bansal appearing for the Marc Enterprises said that since Flipkart is a big company its should have come up with proper research in this regard.
MarQ is the company’s fifth in-house brand, following a range of its own labels in fashion and furniture introduced over the past few years.
Under the MarQ label, the ecommerce major has already rolled out a number of large appliances including microwave ovens, TVs, ACs and washing machines.
Under MarQ label, while the TVs are being manufactured by Dixon Technologies, for the design and manufacture of InnoCool ACs, Flipkart has entered into a strategic partnership with LEEL Electronics (India), formerly known as Lloyd Electric & Engineering Ltd.
The Court’s order might derail the ecommerce behemoth Flipkart’s design thinking and investments behind MarQ, through which it was planning to cater to 70% of large appliance buyers on Flipkart.