Delhi HC issues guidelines for sale of refurbished hard disk drives

New Delhi, May 23 (IANS): The Delhi High Court has issued directions regarding the sale of used and refurbished Hard Disk Drives (HDDs) to ensure transparency and prevent consumer deception.

This ruling came in response to lawsuits filed by Seagate Technology LLC and Western Digital Technologies Inc against various entities selling refurbished HDDs under different brand names.

Justice Anish Dayal mandated that the packaging of refurbished HDDs must prominently display the name of the original manufacturer in a manner that avoids misleading consumers into thinking they are purchasing a new product.

The court specified that references to the original manufacturers should use word marks like "Seagate" or "WD" and explicitly prohibited the use of original logos to prevent consumer confusion.

Additionally, the court directed that sellers must clearly state that these refurbished products do not come with any manufacturer’s warranty or service.

This information must be included in promotional materials, websites, e-commerce listings, brochures, and manuals related to the refurbished HDDs.

The defendants in the case, including Daichi International, Consistent Infosystems Pvt Ltd, Geonix International Pvt Ltd, and Cubicor Information Systems Pvt Ltd, were accused of refurbishing end-of-life HDDs, repackaging them, and selling them under their brand names with extended warranties.

Seagate and Western Digital argued that this practice constituted an impairment of their products, violating Sections 30(3) and 30(4) of the Trade Marks Act, 1999. However, the court observed that Seagate and Western Digital failed to demonstrate any specific rule, regulation, or policy prohibiting the import of discarded HDDs into India.

Justice Dayal concluded that as long as refurbishers fully disclose that the original marks have been altered or removed and that the product does not resemble the original, consumers are adequately informed about what they are purchasing.

The court thus disposed of the interim relief application filed by Seagate and Western Digital, saying that full disclosure by refurbishers would ensure consumer awareness and protect against deception.




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Title: Delhi HC issues guidelines for sale of refurbished hard disk drives

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