The Delhi High Court in Bayerische Motoren Werks AG vs Madan Walia RFA No. 602/2005 decided on 9th July, 2018 held that the issues between the parties already stand decided by the judgment of Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) and the said judgment became final as it was not challenged by either of the respondents, therefore res judicata would apply being in line with the spirit of the provision of Explanation I to Section 11 CPC
Whether an earlier decision given by IPAB relating to the issue between the parties apply as res judicata in a subsequent proceedings between the same parties?
The law with respect to res judicata is that Section 11 CPC is not exhaustive of the doctrine of res judicata. The doctrine of res judicata is based on general principles which are larger than as contained in Section 11 CPC. Explanation 1 to Section 11 CPC provides that if the disputes between the parties are pending in two cases, but the later case is decided prior to the earlier filed case, then decision in the later case will operate as res judicata. That the principles of res judicata are of general application, even dehors Section 11 CPC, is held by the Supreme Court in the case of Gulam Abbas and Others. vs. State of Uttar Pradesh and Others. (1982 )1 SCC 71.
Since in the present case the issues between the parties already stand decided by the judgment of IPAB dated 22.8.2007 and which judgment has become final as it has not been challenged by either of the respondents, therefore on applying the general principles of res judicata with the factual aspects that the issues in the suit have been decided against the respondents by the judgment of the IPAB, and further applying the spirit of the provision of Explanation I to Section 11 CPC, therefore, this appeal is allowed by adopting and accepting the finality of discussion and reasoning of IPAB that the appellant/plaintiff is the exclusive owner of the trade mark BMW and the respondents/defendant have no right to use the same for their businesses.