Case Analysis: Wander Limited v. Antox India (P) Limited
Wander Limited v. Antox India (P) Limited Civil Suit No. 1220 of 1988
Facts: Wander Limited, one of the defendants claims to be the registered proprietor of the registered trademark Cal-De-Ce came into agreement with Antox India (P) Limited, the respondent on 28-February-1986. Under the given agreement Antox agreed to produce Vitamin Calcium Gluconate Tablets under the trademark Cal-De-Ce and consequently sell the entire produced material to Wander Limited. Consequent to the pursuant and the implementation of the given agreement, Antox India (P) Limited applied for the necessary license from the Drug Controller, registered under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940. While, in the course of the time, Wanders Limited issued before the Drug and Cosmetics Act, 1940, an agreement saying that the same would not authorize the use of its Trademark Cal-De-Ce by any other and same shall not be manufactured with effect from (w.e.f) July 01, 1986, under any sole licenses. However, the Drug Controller issued the license to Antox India (P) Limited. It has appeared that Wander Limited came into a separate agreement with Alfred Berg & Company, the other defendant under the license issued to the latter by the authority administered under the Drug and Cosmetic Act, 1940 in Madras.
On the other hand, Antox India (P) Limited came ahead seeking a temporary injunction against Wander Limited from manufacturing the aforementioned drug using the trademark, Cal-De-Ce. According to Antox, the agreement dated 28-Feburuary-1986 with Wander Limited calling the same void and its object forbidden by law. Also, the agreement furnished on the aforementioned date to the Drug Controller in Karnataka was legal in nature causing the Wander Limited to lose the proprietorship of the claimed registered trade-mark, Cal-De-Ce and all the attached exclusive rights. Now, since the manufacturing license was issued to Anton India (P) Limited, the same is an independent user of the trademark. According to Anton India (P) Limited, the mere registration of the trademark earlier to the former is no proof of its earlier use and with the cancellation or abandonment of the trademark by Wander Limited, the former is strengthened to restrain Wander Limited from manufacture.
Question of Law:
- Whether there exists a prima facie evidence based upon which Antox India (P) Limited could be held rightly entitled to restrain Wander Limited and Alfred Berg from producing and marketing goods and services under the trademark named, Cal-De-Ce?
- Whether any irremediable loss shall be caused to Antox India (P) Limited who is praying for a temporary injunction if the same is refused and whether there shall be any balance of convenience attained between the respondent (plaintiff) and the applicants (defendants)?
Judgment: The Hon’ble Supreme Court clearly observed that commonly, the prayer for the grant of a temporary injunction was at such a stage when the actuality of the asserted legal rights by the plaintiff and its alleged contravention were both mandated and remained not certain until the same was established at the trial of the proof. The court at the current stage, based upon some well-settled principles of administration of the interlocutory remedial measure something temporary in nature summarised the object of the injunction as follows: The same is to secure the plaintiff to prevent any contravention of its right for which the same cannot be adequately compensated in damages which were recoverable if the case was resolved in his favor at the time of trial. Again, such security must be weighed against the corresponding need of the defendant which is to be protected in order to prevent the violation of his legal rights for which the same cannot be compensated. To conclude, the hon’ble court must weigh both the needs against one another and consequently determine the position of the balance of convenience.
Authored By: Adv. Anant Sharma & Aniket Pandey