The present case pertaining to intellectual property rights over the trademark of ‘Red Sole’ shoes was filed by Christian Louboutin SAS against one M/S The Shoe Boutique, which was also engaged in the manufacturing, sale and distribution of footwear including shoes.
The Plaintiffs i.e., Christian Louboutin SAS have a well – known and established reputation due to their product “Red – Sole” shoes which exists not only in India but across the globe. Moreover, owing to the huge success of their product, they have also launched another product namely “Spiked Shoes Style” having spikes embedded in them, which was introduced around the year 2010. According to the Plaintiffs, the ‘Red - Sole’ mark of their brand has already been declared a well-known trademark by the Hon’ble Courts and reliance has also been placed on ‘ChatGPT’, an artificial intelligence tool for establishing the reputation and goodwill of the brand.
It was contended by the Plaintiff company that the Defendant has been indulging in the activity of shoe manufacturing with similar or identical designs including similar appearance of the shoes along with using various photographs of Bollywood actors and actresses for the purpose of promotion of their products. However, the representatives of the Defendant company submitted in the Court through an undertaking that they would discontinue any forms of imitation, sale or production of footwear which would imitate or be in contravention of the designs of the Plaintiffs or lead to any case of action in a suit.
According to the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi, a clear and unambiguous intention to imitate the designs, goodwill and reputation of the Plaintiff can be gauged from the conduct of the Defendants. Moreover, all the essential features of the flagship products of the Plaintiff have also been copied by the Defendant. Even though there exists a considerable similarity in both the products, a complete similarity cannot be claimed, and neither can the monopoly over the products be claimed by any company, in order to obtain injunction over the other.
In furtherance of the same contentions, the Court also held that “the responses and inputs of ChatGPT cannot be claimed as a basis of adjudication of legal or factual issues in the Hon’ble Courts. Secondly, the response of a Large Language Model (LLM) based chatbots such as ChatGPT depends solely upon the host of factors which include the nature and structure of the query put by the user, training data etc. Furthermore, there are possibilities of incorrect responses, fictional case laws, imaginative data etc. generated by AI chatbots. Accuracy and reliability of AI generated data are still in the grey area. At the present stage of technological development, AI cannot substitute either human intelligence or the humane element in the adjudicatory process. At best the tool could be utilised for a preliminary understanding or for preliminary research and nothing more.”
The Hon’ble High Court of Delhi also made a direction to the Defendants to abide by the given undertaking for not copying or imitating any of the Plaintiff’s products or design structures. In case a breach of the said undertaking was brought to the notice of the Court, it would make the Defendants liable for payment of a lump sum amount of pecuniary liability of Rs. 25 Lakhs immediately upon coming to the notice of the first party.
Even though ChatGPT is undoubtedly an advanced Artificial – Intelligence tool having immense potential to bring revolutionary changes in the communication and technology field, it is still far away from being used as an authentic tool for reliance of the Courts. For legal professionals, this case shows the importance of being careful with AI’s uncertain areas and, if you are not, you may end up on the ‘wrong side’ of a precedent. More so, the extent to which the research and precedents of artificial intelligence can be relied on also need to be decided by the Courts.