Saturday, January 26, 2013

Does Indian Trademark Law Recognise International Exhaustion Or National One?

The dispute titled Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. & Anr. v. Kapil Wadhwa & Ors has finally reached the corridors of Indian Supreme Court. Unsatisfied with the decision of a Division Bench of Delhi High Court, Samsung has filed an appeal before the Supreme Court of India.

Briefly speaking, Samsung sued Kapil Wadhwa and others for unauthorised sale of Samsung printers imported from foreign markets into India. Furthermore, Samsung also accused Kapil Wadhwa and others for indulging in the behaviour of meta-tagging and deep hyperlinking with Samsungs website for the sale of alleged imported printers.

A single Judge of Delhi High Court held in favour of Samsung whereas a Division Bench of Delhi High Court partially overruled the decision of the single Judge. The Division Bench upheld the judgement of single Judge to the extent of injuncting Kapil Wadhwa and others from engaging in the act of meta tagging and hyperlinking.  Feeling aggrieved Samsung has now approached the Apex Court of India. The Supreme Court has issued notices to the concerned parties in this regard.

Samsung is insisting that the sales by present defendants/traders is an infringement of its Trademark, whereas local traders are claiming that they are well within their rights to sell goods legally bought abroad and imported into India. The question boils to the crucial point whether Indian Trademark law endorses international exhaustion principle or nation exhaustion criteria.

Now the Supreme Court of India would analyse this issue and the same would be settled for the larger benefits of various stakeholders. Perry4Law would update in this regard the moment Supreme Courts judgement would be pronounced.