Recognising Starbuck’s right over the “Frappuccino” mark, the Delhi High Court has awarded the US-based coffeehouse a cost of more than Rs 13 lakh in its lawsuit against a Jaipur café for trademark infringement.
Justice Navin Chawla permanently restrained LOL Café from using the “Frappuccino” mark to sell its products and opined that Starbucks Corporation is also entitled to the “cost of the suit”, which would be paid by the café and its owner.
The judge noted that an ex-parte interim order restraining the defendants was passed in the matter in 2019 and “the plaintiff, in the absence of any defence and in view of the uncontroverted assertions…has not only been able to prove its right in the mark ‘Frappuccino’, but also the infringement and passing off of the said mark by the defendants”.
“The plaintiff is also held entitled to the cost of the suit. Apart from the court fee, the plaintiff has filed an ‘Advocate Fee Certificate’ showing an amount of Rs 13,38,917.85 charged by the counsel as legal fee. The same is found to be reasonable and is thus awarded in favour of the plaintiff and against the defendants,” the court said in its recent order.
Starbucks said it had moved the court after it came to its notice that the defendant café was selling a beverage under the name of “Brownie Chips Frappuccino” without its permission, authorisation or licence.
In the order, the court noted that Starbucks was the registered proprietor of the “Frappuccino” mark, which has a “worldwide reputation”, and its use by the defendants was dishonest.
“The adoption of the mark ‘Frappuccino’ by the defendants is, therefore, dishonest and is intended to deceive an unwary consumer. It amounts to infringement of the plaintiff’s trademark and would also result in passing off the goods of the defendants as that of the plaintiff’s,” the court said.
The plaintiff told the court that it uses its trademark “Frappuccino” in 30,626 Starbucks stores in 80 countries and territories, as well as a bottled-coffee beverage that is distributed to multiple third-party grocery, retail and wholesale stores globally.
It asserted that the worldwide sales figures in relation to the mark runs in billions of US dollars and “Frappuccino” contains its invaluable intellectual property rights.
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