In an interim relief to Hindustan Unilever (HUL), the Bombay High Court on Monday restrained Emami from initiating any legal proceedings against HUL for use of the trademark ‘Glow & Handsome’ without giving a seven-day prior written notice to the plaintiff.
The bench headed by Justice BP Colabawalla was hearing an application filed by HUL under the Trade Marks Act seeking an injunction against Emami from issuing ‘groundless threats’ in view of the use of its trademark ‘Glow and Handsome’. HUL in its application contended that the defendant (Emami) should give it at least seven days prior written notice before initiating any legal proceedings in any court or claiming any interim relief against HUL, as threatened in the statements made by Emami.
As per the application, HUL, in 1975, launched a fairness face cream Fair & Lovely which was initially gender-neutral. To specifically target the men’s segment, in 2006, HUL launched ‘Fair & Lovely, Men’. In 2018, HUL said that it coined and adopted the trademarks ‘Glow & Lovely’ and ‘Glow & Handsome’.
Subsequently, on 2nd July 2020, HUL made an official announcement that ‘Fair & Lovely’ was being rebranded as ‘Glow & Lovely’ and its skincare range products for men will be called ‘Glow & Handsome’.
However, HUL in the application claimed that Emami had given a press statements threatening legal action against HUL for violating its alleged rights in its mark ‘Emami Glow and Handsome. The application filed by HUL before the Bombay High Court, under Section 142 of Trade Marks Act, sought injunction against Emami from issuing groundless threats in view of the use of its trade mark ‘Glow & Handsome’.
The HUL said that on 7th September 2018, after conducting a search in the Register of Trade Marks, it had coined and adopted the trademarks ‘Glow & Lovely’ and ‘Glow & Handsome’ for skincare products. Seeking interim relief against the alleged threat, plaintiff HUL sought an ex-parte order.
The Court after hearing preliminary arguments observed prima facie that the statements made on behalf of the defendant – Emami in newspapers, amount to a threat against HUL and no prejudice would be caused to Emami if limited relief is granted.
Further, the bench directed Emami to give HUL, seven days prior written notice before initiating legal proceedings against it and posted the matter for further hearing on 27th July.