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Comparative advertising is permissible but without defaming the goods of others: Delhi HC

While dealing with a case concerning the issue of trademark infringement and comparative advertising, the Delhi High Court observed that advertisers have to be given enough room to play with an advertisement and the plaintiff should not be hypersensitive towards it.

As per the court, in comparative advertising, it is permissible to compare one’s goods with that of another to establish superiority. However, the court clarified that a person can’t say that the good is inferior, undesirable or bad as that would amount to defaming the good of the other.

Justice Jayant Nath was dealing with a plea seeking interim injunction filed by a company that manufactures toilet cleaner under the trademark HARPIC. The case was filed against a company called DOMEX.

Before the Court, the plaintiff said that defendants in their advertisements claimed that HARPC is ineffective and useless in cleaning toilets. It is further stated due to the advertisements customers have shifted to DOMEX.

The plaintiff requested the court to direct the defendant to not publish or broadcast such advertisements on social media, print and television.

After hearing the submissions, the court said there were some grey areas in the advertisements but they cannot be taken as a necessary representation of facts.

The Bench opined that in comparative advertising comparative own product to that of competitor is permissible.

However, while referring to three other ads out of five, the court noted that the bottle shown in those ads is deceptively similar to that of the plaintiffs packaging.

Therefore, the court restrained the defendants from airing four advertisements and noted they cannot be allowed to disparage or denigrate a rival’s product.

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 Source: lawtrend.in