HC allows civil suit filed by phone manufacturer against unauthorised dealer

Oppo F5 mobile.
Photo : Bijoy Ghosh

Oppo F5 mobile. Photo : Bijoy Ghosh   | Photo Credit: Bijoy Ghosh

Restrains firm from selling the mobile phones on e-commerce websites

The Madras High Court allowed a civil suit filed by Oppo Mobiles India, manufacturer of the Oppo brand of mobile phones, and restrained a Chennai-based unauthorised dealer from advertising, promoting or selling the plaintiff’s products on any of the online e-commerce websites, including Amazon.

Justice C.V. Karthikeyan passed the order after the plaintiff claimed that the unauthorised dealer— Samaira Online Enterprises — was selling the mobile phones at prices much lower than what was charged by its authorised dealers, thereby causing distress in the company’s business model.

The manufacturing company feared that the phones sold by the unauthorised dealer, in the brand name of Oppo, could be of substandard quality, fake or procured illegally from the grey market. Sale of such products on the online platforms would adversely affect the brand value and market standing of the plaintiff, it claimed.

‘Trademark violation’

The court was also told that the manufacturer had been receiving complaints from customers about the authenticity of the products sold online. Stating that the method of marketing and manner of sale by the unauthorised dealer was to deceive and mislead customers, the manufacturer said such an act was in direct violation of the law of trademark.

It was further pointed out that the manufacturer had spent about ₹140 crore on advertising and promotion activities during the last three financial years as against its annual turnover of around ₹1,000 crore. In such circumstances, the colossally discounted pricing technique of Samaira was hampering the plaintiff’s business, it claimed.

Accepting the plaintiff’s case, the judge directed the unauthorised dealer to render its financial accounts exhibiting the profits that it had earned by unlawfully selling the plaintiff’s products on e-commerce websites.

He also ordered it to destroy all packaging, labels, blocks, dyes, stickers and signage bearing the words ‘Oppo Mobiles.’

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Printable version | Apr 6, 2020 2:12:00 AM |

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