Delhi High Court: In a dispute between Parle-G and Britannia regarding the video and print advertisements published against Parle-G, the Single Judge Bench of Prathiba M. Singh, J. referred Parle-G and Britannia to Mediation for settlement of the dispute and restrained Britannia from re-publishing their two print advertisements.
The present suit has been filed by Parle Products (P) Ltd. (plaintiff) against Britannia Industries Ltd. (defendant) seeking permanent injunction restraining disparagement, infringement, unfair competition regarding a video advertisement and two print advertisements (impugned advertisements) publicized by the defendant for its ‘Britannia Milk Bikis’ products. The plaintiff stated that defendant was disparaging the plaintiff’s biscuits sold under the mark ‘Parle-G’ by publicizing derogatory advertisement campaigns through television commercials, online broadcasts as well as through print media, that is, e-paper and print newspaper.
Submissions on behalf of the Plaintiff
The plaintiff submitted that the impugned advertisements were made in a manner to reflect the plaintiff’s product in a bad light by suggesting that the plaintiff’s ‘Parle-G’ biscuits gave ‘adhoora poshan’ and were ‘sadharan’ biscuits. Further, counsel for the plaintiff submitted that the use of the letter ‘G’ in the print advertisements and the use of a similar looking packaging in the video advertisement left no doubt that the comparison of the defendant’s ‘Britannia Milk Bikis’ product was being made with the plaintiff’s ‘Parle-G’ product.
Submissions on behalf of the Defendant
Counsel for the defendant submitted that the impugned video advertisement had been released in 2019 and the two print advertisements were of recent origin. Further, it was submitted that the defendant was willing to explore amicable resolution of the disputes.
Analysis, Law, and Decision
The Court opined that the two print advertisements clearly showed that the use of terms such as ‘G-Nahi’, ‘Adhura poshan’, etc. made a reference to the plaintiff’s ‘Parle-G’ biscuits and it was also evident that the packaging with which the defendant’s product was compared in the impugned video advertisement was similar to the plaintiff’s ‘Parle-G’ product.
The Court held that since the defendant was willing to amicably settle the matter, therefore, the parties were referred to the Delhi High Court Mediation and Conciliation Centre and the Court directed that while the settlement was being explored between the parties, the two print advertisements of the defendant should not be re-published. Further, the Court directed that the changes that must be made in the impugned video advertisement should also be discussed during mediation. The matter would next be listed on 14-12-2022.
[Parle Products (P) Ltd. v. Britannia Industries Ltd., 2022 SCC OnLine Del 4141, decided on 22-11-2022]
Advocates who appeared in this case :
For the Plaintiff: Advocate J. Sai Deepak;
Advocate N.K. Bhardwaj;
Advocate Anju Agrawal;
Advocate Bikash Ghorai;
Advocate Deepak Panwar;
Advocate Rahul Mareth;
Advocate Kashima Chadha;
For the Defendant: Advocate Sagar Chandra;
Advocate Ishani Chandra;
Advocate Shubhie Wahi;
Advocate Sanya Kapoor.