Consumer goods major ITC Ltd got a big relief with the Delhi High Court temporarily restricting Britannia from using the existing packaging for its 'NutriChoice Digestive Zero' biscuits.
In his interim order issued on Tuesday, Justice S Muralidhar held that Britannia's packaging is ''deceptively similar'' to ITC's 'Sunfeast Farmlite Digestive All Good' biscuit and directed Britannia to phase out existing stock and maintain accounts within four weeks.
''An interim injunction is, accordingly, issued restraining Britannia from using the impugned packaging get-up/wrapper for its NutriChoice Digestive Zero biscuits in the present form during the pendency of this suit,'' the order (a copy of which is with BusinessLine) read.
ITC had moved the Delhi high court against Britannia Industries for alleged copying of its biscuit packaging design. ITC in its petition had claimed that Britannia's biscuit brand `NutriChoice Digestive Zero' has imitated the packaging style of its `Sunfeast Farmlite Digestive ALL GOOD' biscuit.
Britannia also uses similar yellow and blue colours on the package, making the products ''identical'' so as to lead to ''confusions and deception'' in the market, ITC contends.
The petition sought damages for alleged infringement of trademark as well as direction to withdraw the product in the current packaging. Both products are also priced at Rs25 for a 100-gram pack.
According to ITC, the company spent Rs14 crore in ''marketing expenditure'' over the past five months since its launch in February 2016 against sales of nearly Rs5 crore of the biscuit brand.
Britannia, on the other hand, held that it was a market leader with over 66 per cent share (in volume and value) in the category, compared with ITC's 1.8 per cent. The company claimed that the shades of colour used in the packaging of 'Nutri Choice Digestive Zero' were different.
In a press release, Britannia said, ''The packaging architecture for NutriChoice has been built on the brand's own strategy and has not been influenced by any other brand.
''As far as the injunction passed by the Delhi High Court is concerned, we are exploring all our legal options in the matter.''