The Delhi High Court has imposed costs of Rs. 87 lakh on Pure Play Sports for Infringing Skechers’ intellectual property by manufacturing and distributing rip-offs of Skechers’ Go-walk 3 series range of shoes.
Notably, the costs were determined by Joint Registrar (Judicial) Raj Kumar Tripathi, who ordered, “The memo of cost prepared by the registry on the basis of material available and has been checked by concerned Assistant Registrar/ Administrative Officer (Judicial). The calculation made by the office is accepted and cost of the suit are taxed at Rs. 86,98,173.05 p only.”
The order was issued in a passing off suit filed by Skechers USA Inc. and its affiliate entities, seeking permanent injunction restraining Pure Play Sports from infringing their trade dress. While interim injunction was granted in favour of the plaintiffs in May, 2016, a summary judgment was later granted in favour of Skechers despite there being no application by it for the same.
Skechers had submitted that an application under Order XIII-A of the CPC as applicable to commercial suits needed to be filed, but that could not be done as their signatory was out of town. Order XIII-A of the CPC, as applicable to commercial suits, entitles a party to a suit to apply for summary judgment at any time after the summons have been served on the defendant and on the grounds stipulated in Rule 3 thereof.
The Court however proceeded to grant a summary judgment nevertheless. The applications were then directed to be listed before the Joint Registrar on July 19 by Justice Yogesh Khanna, who took note of Chapter 23 of the Delhi High Court (Original Side) Rules, 2018. The provisions leave it to the Taxing Officers to determine the actual costs to be imposed on the basis of the evidence supplied and objections raised by the parties.
Taking note of the provisions, Justice Khanna had directed, “Admittedly, the defendant is ex-parte in this case and as such there is no opposition to the bill of costs. Considering the fact the actual costs are to be determined by the Taxing Officer in view of the above-said Rules, the applications be listed before the learned Joint Registrar on 24.07.2018 for consideration per rules.”
The amount was then determined by examining the bill of costs submitted by Skechers, and was imposed ex-parte.