Decoding Corporate Jurisdiction; Bombay HC Holds Trademark Suit Can Be Filed At Principal Place Of Business



The Bombay High Court while deciding an interim application filed for return of Plaint for lack of jurisdiction, held that principle place of business of a company need not be equated, every time with its registered office, for determining jurisdiction for filing a suit for trademark infringement.

The Plaintiff – Prince Pipes and Fittings Ltd.’s counsel argued while the Plaintiff’s registered office is in Goa its principle place of business is in Mumbai. It was emphasised that that the principal place of business of a corporation may or may not be its registered office.

Justice Bharati Dangre analysed the legal framework under Section 62 of the Copyright Act, 1957 and Section 134 of the Trademark Act, 1999 holding that the Plaintiff in terms of the aforementioned provisions is provided an additional forum. Accordingly, the Plaintiff is entitled to institute a suit for infringement at a place where he resides or carries on business.

The Court carefully considered the decisions of Indian Performing Rights Society Ltd. vs. Sanjay Dalia & Ors. and Manugraph India Limited vs. Simarq Atechnologies Pvt. Ltd. & Ors. and rejected the Defendant’s application while holding:

“The principal place of business need not be equated, every time with registered office, as the principal place of business of the company is the place wherefrom the company controls its business activities i.e. where the center of power of corporate body is located. It is quite possible that principal place of business is also its registered office, but it may not be true in every scenario.

The principal place of business at times may not be the registered place of business, as the principal place may be distinct from its registered place as the former is the place from where the entire company business is controlled.”

This Order clarifies the misconception that the principle place of business of a company need not necessarily be its registered office. It underscores the importance of aligning jurisdiction with the practical realities of corporate operations.

Counsel Mr. Rashmin Khandekar, Karishni Khanna a/w. Madhu Gadodia (Managing Partner), Deepak Deshmukh (Associate Partner) and Anisha Nair (Senior Manager) i/b. Anand & Naik represented Prince Pipes and Fittings Ltd.


Authors: Madhu Gadodia, Deepak Deshmukh and Anisha Nair


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