In yet another case of consumer confusion, the Delhi High Court recently restrained Rohidas Popat Kapadnis and Blue Marine Bottling Company from manufacturing SEVEN HOURS energy drinks in packaging with a blue and silver color combination resembling Red Bull’s products.
The suit alleged that the Defendants were manufacturing and marketing an energy drink named SEVEN HOURS, using an identical blue and silver color combination, which is a registered trademark of Red Bull. The comparative products of the Plaintiff and Defendants are depicted below:
Red Bull, a renowned energy drink brand, claimed that it had adopted the mark RED BULL in 1982 and launched the RED BULL energy drink in India in 2000. Additionally, it contended that the blue and silver color combination used in its products is registered in several countries, including India. The Plaintiff also argued that it had sales figures of more than 180 crores in India in the year 2022, with a market share being pegged at 44.2% in the energy drink segment.
The advocate representing Red Bull informed the court that the color combination had been protected by courts on multiple occasions in the past as they had obtained favorable orders from various courts in the country. The Plaintiff also stated that the Defendants had been promoting their products on various social media platforms namely Instagram, YouTube, etc.
On 1 August 2023, the court granted an ad-interim injunction in favor of Red Bull, restraining the Defendants from manufacturing SEVEN HOURS energy drinks in packaging with a blue and silver color combination resembling Red Bull’s products. The court stated as follows:
“In the present case, the mark being used by the Defendants is SEVEN HOURS. However, since the segment and the color combination of the Defendants are identical to that of the Plaintiff, the chances of confusion are very high, especially on e-commerce platforms where the images are not fully visible and could be subject to the fleeting memory of consumers. In view of the trademark registrations of the Plaintiff and the long and continuous use by the Plaintiff, the Court is convinced that the Plaintiff has made out a prima facie case in its favor for grant of an ad-interim ex-parte injunction. The balance of convenience lies in favour of the Plaintiff and irreparable injury would be caused to the Plaintiff if the interim injunction is not granted.”
Furthermore, the court ordered that the Defendants refrain from selling any additional products under the infringing mark/label, except for those seized by the Local Commissioner. It was further ordered by the court that the Defendants trademark applications bearing nos. 5683132 and 5598032 shall stand withdrawn and the Registrar of Trademarks shall reflect the same on its website within four weeks from receipt of the order.
As a consequence of the court’s order, the infringing products were seized by a court-appointed Local Commissioner and the court directed the Defendants to dispose of these seized products during the usual course of business, subject to the payment of monetary damages amounting to Rs. 13 lakhs to Red Bull on or before 31 January 2024.
 Red Bull AG v. Rohidas Popat Kapadnis & Anr. CS(COMM) 512/2023, Delhi High Court
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