Skoda cannot sell the Rapid Monte Carlo in India, a Delhi court has ruled. Why? Trademark infringement. There’s a Ludhiana based clothing company called Monte Carlo fashions that markets its apparels under the Monte Carlo brand. This company approached the court after Skoda began taking bookings for the Rapid Monte Carlo edition.
Judge Mukesh Kumar had this to say,
It is crystal clear that the automobile company , by launching a variant of its car under the clothing company’s trademark, had committed infringement. The plaintiff has a prima facie case on merit and balance of convenience also lies in its favour. The plaintiff would suffer irreparable loss if injunction is not granted.
Notably, Skoda launched the Rapid Monte Carlo in August, and is yet to deliver the car to customers though bookings have been open for a while now.
So, what can/will Skoda now do?
The automaker is yet to comment on this matter. Here are a few possibilities.
- The automaker might appeal to a higher court, and get the district court’s decision reversed.
- It can simply refund the booking amount and cancel the car.
- It can rebrand the car with some other name, and continue selling it here.
For now though, Skoda cannot sell the Rapid Monte Carlo in India, and customers who’ve already booked the car will have to look at other options or wait till this matter is legally resolved.
Skoda launched the Rapid Monte Carlo edition in India on the 22nd of August, with prices of the car starting from 10.75 lakhs. The car featured two engine options – 1.6liter MPI petrol with 105 Bhp-153 Nm and a 1.5 liter TDI turbo diesel with 105 Bhp-250 Nm. Both engine were offered with 5 speed manual gearboxes as standard even as the diesel engine also got a 7 speed dual clutch automatic gearbox as an option. The Monte Carlo edition of the Rapid got an exterior makeover, and additional features on the inside.