By S.S. Selvanayagam
On an Intellectual Property litigation filed by Brown & Company PLC over the impugned dispute on trademark, the Colombo High Court yesterday (11) issued an enjoining order against Abans (Pvt) Ltd.
High Court Judge Gamini Amarasekera issued the ex parte Enjoining Order restraining Defendant, Abans (Pvt) Ltd., from marketing, selling and using the ‘Sifeng,’ which the Plaintiff alleges resembles its trademark ‘Shifang’. Court issued this Enjoining Order returnable on 20 October.
S. A. Parathalingam PC with Shamil Perera instructed by Gamini Senanayake appeared for the Plaintiff Brown & Company PLC. Brown & Company in its plaint stated that it was the registered owner of the trade mark ‘Sifang’ of walking tractor in Sri Lanka, which is a tractor with a built-in seat, functions for working in paddy fields and haulage purposes and with the relevant implements to plough, till, move and ditch. It can also be used to transport trailers and as a mobile power unit for pumping of water.
The Plaintiff states that the ‘Sifang’ brand tractors are presently marketed and distributed by Sifang Lanka (Pvt) Ltd., which is a fully owned subsidiary of the Plaintiff incorporated for the purpose of marketing the said tractor, which is in great demand in Sri Lanka. The Plaintiff said it became aware in September 2010 that the Defendant had been using a mark that was almost identical to and/or closely resembling the Plaintiff’s registered mark.
It complained the Defendant was engaged in the identical business of import of hand tractors as that of the Plaintiff and was aggressively marketing the said tractors, capitalising on the marketing successes of the Plaintiff’s tractors.
It also alleged the Defendant was deceptively similar to the Plaintiff’s tractors marketed under the trade mark ‘Sifang’ and/or calculated to deceive buyers on the origin of the tractors and purports to capitalise on the goodwill of the Plaintiff.
It claims that the Defendant is using its purported mark without the consent of the Plaintiff, and/or is using a sign resembling the Plaintiff’s registered mark, in such a way as to be likely to mislead the public, or calculated to mislead the public and trade circles for goods and services.
It maintains the conduct and acts of the Defendant are all acts of competition contrary to honest practice in commercial matters and thus are acts which are of such a nature as to create confusion and constitute acts of unfair competition.