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Indian Case Summary

World Wrestling Entertainment, … vs M/S Reshma Collection & Ors on 15 October, 2014 – Case Summary

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In the case of World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. vs M/S Reshma Collection & Ors, the Delhi High Court delivered a judgment on 15th October 2014, which revolved around the issues of copyright infringement, trademark infringement, passing off, dilution, rendition of accounts, damages, and delivery up. The case was presided over by Justice Badar Durrez Ahmed and Justice Vibhu Bakhru.

Facts of the Case

World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (WWE), the appellant, is a company incorporated under the laws of the State of Delaware, United States of America. The company is engaged in the development, production, and marketing of television programming, pay-per-view programming, live events, and the licensing and sale of branded consumer products featuring its well-known WWE brand. The WWE scratch logo and World Wrestling Entertainment are registered trademarks of the appellant worldwide, including India.

The defendants, M/S Reshma Collection & Ors, are stationed in Mumbai and are engaged in the business of manufacturing and selling various forms of garments and apparel, such as T-shirts, wrist bands, caps, and other counterfeit goods and garments bearing the reproductions of the plaintiff’s talents. The appellant alleged that the defendants were infringing on the appellant’s registered trademarks.

Issues Raised

The appellant filed a suit seeking a permanent injunction based on alleged infringement of its copyright and trademarks, passing off, dilution, rendition of accounts, damages, and delivery up. The appellant claimed that the Delhi High Court had jurisdiction to entertain the suit on account of the provisions of Section 134(2) of the Trademarks Act, 1999 and Section 62(2) of the Copyright Act, 1957.

Court’s Observations and Judgment

The court observed that the appellant did not carry on business within the jurisdiction of the court. The court also noted that the appellant’s claim of jurisdiction was based on the fact that its programs were broadcast in Delhi, its merchandise and books were available for sale in Delhi, and its goods and services were sold to customers in Delhi through its website which could be accessed in Delhi over the internet.

The court held that the expression “carries on business” as appearing in Section 134(2) of the Trademarks Act, 1999 and Section 62(2) of the Copyright Act, 1957, is much wider than what the expression in normal parlance connotes because of the ambit of a civil action within the meaning of Section 9 of the CPC. However, the court also noted that it is necessary that the three conditions specified in the decision of Dhodha House (supra) should be satisfied.

The court concluded that the appellant did not carry on business in Delhi and hence, the Delhi High Court did not have territorial jurisdiction to entertain the suit. The court directed the return of the plaint to the appellant under Order 7 Rule 10 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, to be presented before a court of competent jurisdiction.