ITC and Britannia resolve packaging feud

Ending a nearly 10-month long legal battle with Britannia, ITC has changed the packaging of its digestive biscuits brands ‘Sunfeast Farmlite 5-Seed Digestive’ and ‘Sunfeast Farmlite Veda Digestive’. In its judgement passed on 4 August, the Delhi High Court considered the matter resolved, and Britannia has withdrawn all claims for the rendition of accounts, damages, and costs.

07 Aug 2021 | By WhatPackaging? Team

Britannia's claim - Sunfeast Farmlite packaging deceptively similar to its own Nutri Choice brand

The new packaging for Sunfeast Farmlite 5-Seed Digestive includes an orange and yellow colour scheme, replacing the red and yellow combination which Britannia had taken objection to.

“The respondents have modified their packaging of the products ‘Sunfeast Farmlite 5-Seed Digestive’ and ‘Sunfeast Farmlite Veda Digestive’ which are already in the market,” the judgment said. “The appellant has no objection to the use of the modified packaging of the Respondents as depicted hereinabove,” it added.

Last month, the court had given both ITC and Britannia four weeks to come to an agreement regarding the revised packaging by the former.

Late last year, Britannia dragged ITC to court claiming trademark infringement over its NutriChoice Digestive biscuits packaging. It claimed that the packaging of ITC’s Sunfeast Farmlite 5-Seed Digestive is ‘deceptively similar to its own Nutri Choice brand. In April this year, a single-judge bench of the Delhi High Court ruled that the packaging of the two cannot be called deceptively similar since in both cases, the name of the product is abundantly clear.

However, a month later Britannia appealed on the court order claiming ITC’s promotion of the April order is causing harm to its goodwill. “It is averred that the impugned judgment is being publicised heavily and is therefore causing immense harm and injury leading to loss of goodwill and reputation of the appellant,” Britannia said in the appeal.

The lawyers for Britannia also argued that the April judgement, “has erroneously applied principles pertaining to Word Marks, including elements of 'phonetic similarity', when there is no claim made in the suit for any Word Mark”.

The court gave both the parties until 8 July to respond to the fresh appeal made by Britannia. On 8 July, ITC submitted to the court that it has changed its packaging for the aforementioned products.