On September 27, 2017, the Commercial High Court issued two enjoining orders against Arabian Motors (Pvt.) Ltd, upon hearing a plaint filed by Diesel and Motor Engineering PLC (DIMO), which is the sole authorized distributor/dealer of Mercedes Benz automobiles.
The plaintiff vide the plaint dated September 25, 2017, complained to the court that Arabian Motors (Pvt.) Ltd is running an automobile workshop under the name of ‘Merc-Stop’, have engaged in unfair competition by attempting to piggyback on the plaintiff’s goodwill by using the name ‘Merc-Stop’ along with the Mercedes-Benz well-known trademark without any reference to the defendant’s actual name, i.e. Arabian Motors (Pvt.) Ltd.
DIMO further complained to court that by use of the advertising slogan ‘Better option than the dealer’, Arabian Motors (Pvt.) Ltd has attempted to tarnish the reputation of DIMO as the sole authorized distributor/dealer for Mercedes-Benz in Sri Lanka. The plaintiff was represented in court by Dr. Harsha Cabral, President’s Counsel, who appeared with Counsels Nishan Premathiratne and Pravi Karunaratne instructed by Julius and Creasy Attorneys-at-Law. DIMO through its legal team submitted to the court that DIMO has been the sole distributor/dealer for Mercedes-Benz for a period over 78 years and has gained the trust and confidence of the Sri Lankan public. Thus, Arabian Motors (Pvt.) Ltd is attempting to dilute the goodwill of DIMO and thereby attempting to unlawfully solicit DIMO’s customers. Learned Commercial High Court Judge Ruwan Fernando being satisfied on the submissions made on behalf of the plaintiff granted two enjoining orders as prayed by the plaintiff preventing the defendant directly or indirectly using the getup ‘Merc-Stop’ and the Mercedes Benz trademark together without any reference to the defendant’s trade name ‘Arabian Motors’ and also preventing the defendant from using the word ‘dealer’ or any other word closely resembling the plaintiff in advertisements effected in respect of Mercedes Benz products or services in any manner whatsoever. The case will be called again on October 11, 2017.