Hawkins Cookers Ltd Vs. Murugan Enterprises decided on April 13, 2012

1. The appellant is the registered proprietor of the trademark “HAWKINS” in respect of pressure cookers and parts thereof, including gaskets, falling under Class-21 of the erstwhile Trade and Merchandise Marks Act 1958.

2. The grievance relates to the respondent, M/s. Murugan Enterprises, manufacturing and selling gaskets under the trademark “MAYUR”. But on the packaging material it is printed as follows :
“Suitable for : Hawkins Pressure Cookers”

3. Whereas the words “suitable for” and “Pressure Cookers” are printed in black colour, the word “Hawkins” is printed in red colour and thus it is apparent that the intention is that the word “Hawkins” catches the eye.

4. The appellant alleges that by so writing on the packaging material, the respondent is infringing upon its registered trademark and the gaskets pertaining to pressure cookers are not manufactured by the respondent for any particular brand of pressure cooker, much less Hawkins Pressure Cookers and that the gaskets of pressure cookers can fit any pressure cooker manufactured by any manufacturer, for the reason all pressure cookers have the same dimensions of the mouth and hence the lid size, the only correlation is to the capacity of a pressure cooker i.e. 1 liter, 2 liter etc. Thus, the appellant contends that the respondent cannot use the word “Hawkins”, which is the trademark of the appellant, in relation to the goods gaskets.

1. The gaskets manufactured by the respondent, as also other manufacturers, are neither designed, nor are capable of being designed, to be used in any particular kind of pressure cooker, for the reason all pressure cookers are so designed that the mouth of the pressure cooker and the corresponding lid is of same dimension; the only variation being with respect to the capacity of a pressure cooker. In other words, a gasket pertaining to a 1 liter capacity pressure cooker would fit all pressure cookers manufactured by all manufacturers.

2. It is further clarified that if in the sale it becomes reasonably necessary for the manufacturer of adaptable goods, to refer to the trademark of the relatable goods, such reference would not amount to an infringement of the trademark under which the relatable goods are sold, but has misapplied the evidence on record.

3. It is also further stated that the the respondent has given undue prominence to the word “Hawkins” by printing it in a distinct red colour and the remaining words of the sentence are printed in black colour.

The impugned judgment was set aside and the Defendant, therefore, is restrained from using the quote “suitable for Hawkins” in the said circumstances.


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