HC rejects Crocs Inc plea, says ‘design cannot constitute trademark’

New Delhi, March 8 : The Delhi High Court has held that "a registered design cannot constitute a trade mark" while rejecting a plea filed by multinational footwear manufacturer Crocs Inc's plea restraining some of the footwear companies from copying its registered design.

"However, if there are features other than those registered as a design and are shown to be used as a trade mark and (from where) goodwill has been acquired, it is only those extra features which can be protected as a trade mark," Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw said in its March 5 order.

"In my opinion, a registered design confers on the registrant only the right to restrain another from infringing the design and not to, also claiming the registered design as its trade mark/trade dress, restrain another from passing off its goods as that of the registrant, by copying the registered design."

The court was hearing a plea of American footwear company Crocs, Incorporated seeking permanent injunction for restraining various other footwear companies from adopting and copying the shape trade mark/trade dress of the plaintiff (Crocs).

Crocs has initiated the litigation for restraining some of the defendants (other footwear companies) from infringing the registered design of the plaintiff with respect to "CROCS" footwear.

Crocs argued that the design of the subject footwear of the plaintiff and defendants is the same.

The counsel for the defendants argued that no additional features qualifying as trade dress, which are not part of the registered design, have been pointed out.

The court said that the plaintiff has not pleaded anything extra, other than the registered design, which is used and has goodwill as a trade mark and which can be protected in these actions for passing off."



Source: IANS