Permanent Injunction against infringer of CROSSFIT trademark; 10 Lakhs costs granted to Crossfit LLC.

Permanent Injunction against infringer of CROSSFIT trademark; 10 Lakhs costs granted to Crossfit LLC.

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday granted ₹10 lakh costs to US-based fitness company CrossFit in a trademark infringement suit filed against a Gurugram-based gym. (Cross Fit LLC v. RTB Gym & Fitness Centre)

Justice Pratibha M Singh granted a permanent injunction in favour of CrossFit and also initiated contempt of court proceedings against the owner of the infringing gym for failing to comply with the Court's earlier orders.

"The conduct of the Defendant in the present case prima facie amounts to contempt. Issue notice to show case to the Defendant’s proprietor Mr. Arun Sharma as to why contempt action ought not to be initiated," the Court ordered.

In September 2020, CrossFit came to know that RTB Gym and Fitness Centre, a gym located in Gurugram, was using the identical mark 'CROSSFIT' for services relating to fitness. It later came to know that the gym was using the company's trademark since 2018.

CrossFit first attempted to resolve the dispute through pre-litigation mediation, for which the proprietor of the gym, Arun Sharma, did not turn up. This prompted the company to file a suit before the Delhi High Court, which in October 2021 granted an interim injunction against Sharma and his gym.

An affidavit was later filed by CrossFit showing that despite the Court's orders, Sharma was continuing to use the mark ‘CROSSFIT’.

"The Defendant, having had knowledge of the injunction order dated 29th October, 2021, has chosen not to respond or even contest the matter," the Court noted.

Therefore, the Court found that it was a fit case for the grant of actual costs in favour of CrossFit. It thus ordered,

"Accordingly, in view of the fact that the Defendant has brazenly violated the orders of the Court, costs of Rs.10,00,000/- are awarded in favour of the Plaintiff."

The Court has directed the defendant to pay the said amount within three months, failing which CrossFit would be permitted to avail remedies in accordance with law.

Further, the Court permitted CrossFit to approach online directories and social media platforms for taking down of infringing listings and posts of the defendant, using the mark ‘CROSSFIT’. Such intermediaries are required to take down the posts within 48 hours, the Court clarified.

The Court also issued a notice to Sharma asking him to show cause why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against him.

Finally, the Court also deemed it appropriate to appoint Advocate Meghna Jhandu as a local commissioner to visit the premises of the defendant to ensure compliance of the orders by removing any hoardings and other billboards, signages, display materials, brochures, packaging, and literature bearing the mark ‘CROSSFIT’.

The matter will be heard next on November 29, 2022.

Advocates Saif Khan and Shobhit Agrawal appeared for Crossfit LLC.

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Judgement

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