The Bombay high court, expressing ‘great surprise’ that a lawyer for US apparel giant Gap had objected to pay Rs 3,000 (45 dollars) towards cost of a court receiver's report in a two-decade-old trademark infringement suit. Justice Gautam Patel directed that the company pay the costs sought by the court receiver. “The amount is roughly the price of two cinema tickets in New York,” said the judge.

The suit, filed in 1995 by Gap against Messrs Gap, was resolved and disposed off in January 2002 on consent terms, but the receiver appointed in 1996 to take possession of goods, including articles and papers bearing the allegedly infringed mark, had yet to be formally discharged. Last month, the receiver, an officer appointed by the court usually to take custody and manage a litigated property till a final decision is rendered, put up his claim for discharge on payment of his costs, charges and expenses of Rs 5,530.

Their lawyer in Mumbai, whose name the HC order passed late last month recorded only as N Jain, instructed by law firm Wadia Ghandy & Co, said there was "no dispute" and that the "company will pay these costs, charges and expenses", but she complained about picking up the tab for the receiver's report. The costs incurred by a receiver are to be paid as per rules framed by the HC. The court receiver had thus prepared his claim of Rs 3,000 for the last report, seeking his discharge. "I am very greatly surprised that she makes a grievance about the amount of Rs 3,000..." said Justice Patel.


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