Recently, the Honourable Delhi High Court passed an order in favor of a Hungarian company, Hell Energy Magyarorszag KFT seeking protection of their trademark ‘HELL’ energy drink. The court directed the defendant party Shri Brahm Shakti Prince Beverages Pvt Ltd. Ors. to pay the sum of Rs 30 lakh as total costs and damages and additional Rs 20,00,000/- for violating the settlement agreement.
The Hungarian company has been using its distinctive trademark ‘HELL\HELL ENERGY’ and its various logo\forms since the year 2006. The trademark is registered in several countries including India under class 32. Moreover, they promoted their business on their official website in the name of www.hellenergy.com . Whereas, Prince Beverages company used deceptively similar packaging and brand name ‘HILLXXX’ to the Hungarian Company.
This case was not the first time wherein, Prince Beverages was questioned regarding the similarity of the brand name and using deceptively similar trade dress to the Hungarian company. In June 2021, the Hungarian Company filed a case against Shri Brahm Shakti Prince Beverages Pvt. Ltd. before the same Honourable court. Wherein the Court granted an exparte ad interim order of injunction restraining the Prince beverages from –
- Advertising, manufacturing, selling, marketing, and storing their beverage under the name of ‘HELLxxx’ and ‘HALL’ energy drink.
- Infringing the trademark by using deceptively similar names
- Infringing copyright by using deceptively similar trade dress or product packaging.
- Using the deceptively similar product and passing off their goods.
After the suit was filed, the parties got into a settlement agreement wherein the company Prince Beverages acknowledged that the ‘HELL\HELL ENERGY DRINK’ mark is of the Hungarian company and would not breach it by using any deceptively similar trademark and pay damages of Rs. 20,00,000 to the Hungarian Company if they violate the terms and conditions of the agreement.
In the current suit filed by the Hungarian Company was filed when the company received information that the same company has launched an energy drink under the mark of ‘HILLXXX’ and thereby filed a fresh suit.
In the present case, the Court scrutinized the word ‘HEL\HELL ENERGY DRINK’ and declared it to be the Hungarian company’s unique trade dress and trademark. Despite agreeing to the agreement, Prince beverages violated not only the terms of the agreement but also infringed the initial Honourable court order.
The court appointed a local commissioner to seize the infringing goods from Prince Beverages to which, the company pleaded that they were wrongly advised by their counsel to adopt the mark and packaging of the HILL product and have suffered a huge loss and now they intend to change the trade dress which looks deceptively similar to the Hungarian Company’s energy drink.
The court in the present case delivered its final order and gave judgment again against the Prince Beverage company and made observations that –
- The current packaging of the product looks deceptively similar.
- The Prince Beverage company violated the settlement agreement as they restrained the company in the first instance to not use the mark ‘HILLXXX/ HILLxxx’ or any such similar names
- Prince Beverage has infringed the previous order passed by the Court
- There has been a violation of the settlement agreement, and as per it, the Prince Beverage Company has to pay Rs 20,00,000/- to the Hungarian company.
- On top of the above settlement amount, the company needs to pay a sum of Rs 30,00,000/-to the company towards the costs and damages for violating the previous order passed by the court.