Marico Ltd. recently forayed into the Indian Honey market. However, their start in the Indian market has been rocky, to say the least. Within just a few weeks of launching the product, their rival Dabur has filed a case in the Delhi High Court alleging Saffola Honey had “imitated” the bottle, trade dress, label, and packaging of Dabur Honey.
What is Trade Dress?
The concept of trade dress first emerged in the US laws. Trade dress is registrable as a trademark by virtue of the following provisions of the Trade Marks Act, 1999:
Essentially a trade dress is the distinctive physical or visual appearance of a good or service. Trade dress includes shape, design, color or color combination, packaging material, and décor, the internal or external appearance of goods or services.
Dabur vs Marico
Dabur made allegations that Marico has copied the shape of the bottle, its yellow cap, dome-shaped label, usage of honeycombs on the label amongst other similarities.
“An overall comparison of the two products would prima-facie show a similarity causing confusion in the minds of the buyer, even though the trade name Saffola is prominently noted on the bottle,” the court said in its interim order. “It is clarified that this interim injunction would not apply to the products already sold by the defendant in the market and the defendant will maintain the accounts thereof, which will be submitted to this court,” the order further said while setting the next date of hearing in August.
While things resting so, in a subsequent appeal by Marico both the parties agreed that the “order be kept in abeyance since the interim application preferred by the plaintiff/respondent herein is still pending consideration and has not been disposed of,” according to a court order of 17th July 2020.