HomeWhat's TrendingBreaking News: Bombay High Court Rules Trademark Suit Location Flexibility!

Breaking News: Bombay High Court Rules Trademark Suit Location Flexibility!

In a landmark decision, the Bombay High Court has reshaped the landscape of trademark infringement suits, asserting that a company’s registered office isn’t always the go-to spot for legal battles. Rather, the court proclaimed that such suits can find their home at the company’s ‘principal place of business,’ even if it’s a different address altogether.

The verdict arrived in response to an interim plea filed by Shree Sai Plast Pvt. Ltd., contesting a trademark infringement suit initiated by Prince Pipes and Fittings Ltd. against them. Despite Prince Pipes being registered in Goa, the court acknowledged Mumbai as its hub for major business operations.

Justice Bharati Dangre firmly upheld Mumbai as the rightful battleground for the lawsuit, underscoring that Prince Pipes’ principal activities radiate from Mumbai, not Goa where its registered office sits. Shree Sai, meanwhile, operates from Bihar.

In a pivotal statement, Justice Dangre articulated, ‘The principal place of business need not invariably align with the registered office,’ elucidating that it’s the nerve center of business operations that holds precedence.

She further elaborated, ‘While the principal place of business may coincide with the registered office, it’s not a steadfast rule. Sometimes, the primary business hub diverges from the registered address, being the locus of corporate control.’

The court clarified that under Section 134(2) of the Trademarks Act, plaintiffs wield the flexibility to institute suits not solely based on their registered office location but also where their principal business activity thrives, or where they dwell or work for gain.

Quoting the Supreme Court’s precedent in IPRS v. Sanjay Dalia, the court emphasised that Section 134(2) isn’t a tool to haul defendants to remote locales merely due to the plaintiff’s subsidiary presence.

This landmark ruling ushers in a new era of flexibility and strategic maneuvering in trademark infringement litigations, promising a more nuanced approach to legal recourse in the corporate world.

Monika Shanmugam