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Jul, 12 2017

Supreme Court gives opportunity to Britannia and ITC to settle biscuit packaging dispute out of court

The division bench had allowed the appeal saying that in the short span from 2016, when ITC first started selling its digestive biscuits in a package of blue-yellow colour, the combination could not have become identified with the company.

The apex Court has given a chance to Britannia Industries Limited and ITC Limited to settle their dispute regarding the alleged deceptive packaging of their digestive biscuits out of court.

A bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and Navin Sinha said, "The matter is adjourned sine die to enable the parties to effect an out-of-court settlement."

The order to this effect was passed as the two companies sought time to try to amicably settle the dispute.

ITC has moved the Supreme court challenging the Delhi High Court's March 10 verdict allowing Britannia to use its earlier blue and yellow coloured package for selling its 'Nutri Choice Digestive Zero' biscuits.

The order by a division bench of the high court had come on Britannia Industries Ltd's plea challenging its single judge's decision which had said the blue and yellow package was "deceptively similar" to that of ITC's 'Sunfeast Farmlite Digestive All Good'.

The division bench had allowed the appeal saying that in the short span from 2016, when ITC first started selling its digestive biscuits in a package of blue-yellow colour, the combination could not have become identified with the company.

The single judge had on September 6 last year granted relief to ITC Ltd by stopping rival Britannia Industries Ltd from selling its Nutri Choice Zero digestive biscuits in a package having the blue-yellow colour combination.

Britannia had thereafter approached the larger bench against the order, saying it was erroneous as the single judge had not considered the fact that their packaging was different from that of ITC's.

The single judge's order had come on a plea filed by ITC Ltd seeking to restrain Britannia from violating its rights in packaging or trade dress of Sunfeast Farmlite Digestive-All Good'biscuits by allegedly using a deceptively and confusingly similar trade dress for Nutri Choice Digestive Zero biscuits.

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