Pernod Ricard is a French company that produces distilled beverages. Pernod Ricard Group (hereinafter referred to as the Respondent) is no.2 in the wine and spirits industry and its products are sold under internationally renowned and acclaimed brands in 110 countries. RICARD is an anise flavoured aperitif which was formulated in 1932. The RICARD company was formed in 1974 as a result of the merger of Pernod SA and Ricard SA, both being France’s largest suppliers and distributors of anise seed beverages. Since then, the Pernod Ricard Group has seen unprecedented revenue and fame, with over 100 production facilities throughout the world and turnover to the tune of € 6.4 billion in 2006-2007. Its products are world renowned and are sold under the names Chivas Regal, Ballantine‟s, 100 Pipers, The Glenlivet, Beefeater, Wild Turkey, Jameson, Jacob’s Creek, Martell, Malibu, Kalhua, Havana Club, G.H. Mumm, Passport, Something Special etc.
It was found out that the manufacturers (REAL) were manufacturing and selling products with the infringing label and logo in Goa. The REAL manufacturers were using a logo and label which had all the distinguishing features of the RICARD label and logo. The infringing logo/label had the same essential visual components as the RICARD logo/label. The RICARD product is sold worldwide and its trademark is recognized worldwide, and in fact in India, its trademark has been registered since 1988 and its infringement is a violation under Section 29 of the Trademarks Act, 1999. The RICARD logo/label comprises of stylized acanthus leaves with silver background and blue leafy outline along with a circular device having red background and blue border with the number ‘45’ in white colour depicted upon the central section of the device. Further the vertically elongated label has an overall white background with two broad blue bands on the upper and lower sections each having silver and blue thick border.
In my opinion, the blue label being used by the REAL on its IMFL whisky is an intrinsic part of the trade mark and the consumers of ‘Real Blue Whisky’ associated it with the blue colour. The RICARD registered trade mark does not have any colour and therefore, no injunction can be granted in their favour to preclude persons from using the ‘Navy Blue color’. Also there are numerous labels of alcoholic and other beverages have blue colour with white, therefore, the RICARD cannot claim exclusivity over such features.