Metro Shoes settles intellectual property case at Bombay High Court
The Bombay High Court ruled in favour of footwear brand Metro Shoes to stop other retailers from selling products with a similar brand name, setting a strong precedent for online retail intellectual property cases.
Metro Shoes approached the court to file an intellectual property case against a group of online marketplaces and shoe manufacturers. The court ruled that using similar brand names “Metrox” and “Metro” was illegal and ordered all defendants to cease doing so and collectively pay Rs 15 lakh to the Society for Rehabilitation of Crippled Children.
“The advocate appearing for defendant No.7 [Just Dial] on instructions state that it has deactivated all links where the mark ‘Metro’ or ‘Metrox’,” Just Dial’s advocate stated at the Bombay High Court, as reported by ET Bureau. India Mart also agreed in court to remove its advertisements for the concerned products from its platform. Both multi-brand retailers conceded to Metro Shoes’ demands in court.
Just Dial and India Mart, both multi-brand retailers, were retailing shoes under the “Metrox” brand which were produced by the shoe manufacturers Shoe Stations and Foothold Shoes. All concerned businesses were found guilty of intellectual property violations, both manufacturers and third-party retailers.
The Bombay high Court ruling has set a precedent that third party retailers cannot eschew liability for selling fake and copied products by stating that they do not produce them. This is an important ruling concerning intellectual property in the context of multi-brand e-commerce, a swiftly growing market in India.
Metro Shoes is part of Metro Brands and was founded in 1947. The business currently has over 206 stores in around 100 Indian cities and retails in the value section of the market.
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