A Rajasthan-based businessman was arrested and produced before the Bombay High Court for failing to comply with its orders restraining him from using the trademarks of celebrity hair stylist Jawed Habib’s salon.
Justice S J Kathawalla had last week issued a non-bailable warrant against Manoj Kumar Sharma, who is accused of infringing copyright of Habib’s salon’s registered trademarks – ‘Jawed Habib’ and ‘JH’. Following the warrant, the Jaipur city police arrested Sharma and produced him before Justice Kathawalla.
The court then cancelled the warrant and directed Sharma to file an affidavit in response to the suit filed by Habib’s company -Jawed Habib Hair and Beauty Ltd – for alleged infringement of its trademarks. The court would now hear the petition on January 24.
The plaintiff company was set up in 2006 and provides hair styling and cutting services. At present, the company has over 600 outlets in cities across the country and has created a good reputation and goodwill among its customers.
In April 2017, it learnt that the defendant (Sharma) was using its trademarks ‘Jawed Habib’ and ‘JH’ and running a salon at Jaipur in Rajasthan. The plaintiff firm then sent a legal notice to Sharma, asking him to desist from using the trademarks. When there was no reply to the notice, the company approached the court.
The high court had in October 2018 granted interim relief to the company and restrained Sharma from using the trademarks. Justice Kathawalla had then noted that Sharma had no right to use the trademarks, which were deceptively similar to the plaintiff company’s registered trademarks. “Admittedly, the defendant (Sharma) is not the franchise of the plaintiff. The adoption of the trademarks by the defendant cannot be a matter of coincidence,” the court had said in its October 3, 2018, order.
“The adoption and use of the impugned trademarks by the defendant are therefore deliberate and dishonest,” the court had said and directed Sharma to remove boards and notices put up by him bearing the trademarks ‘Jawed Habib’ and ‘JH’. In December 2018, the court was informed by the company that Sharma had not complied with its orders. The high court then issued a bailable warrant against Sharma. On January 4, the HC was informed that Sharma had still not complied with the court order following which the court ordered for a non-bailable warrant to be issued against him.