Companies

Dabur India gets relief in trademark infringement case

Meenakshi Verma Ambwani | Updated on: Mar 16, 2022

Delhi HC directs blocking of websites being run in the company’s name

FMCG major Dabur India has got an interim injunction from the Delhi High Court in a trademark infringement suit filed against certain fake websites and domain names being operated in the company’s name.

The court recently passed a John Doe order directing blocking of these domain names and pulling down of these websites (daburdistributorships.in, daburdistributor.com and daburfranchisee.in).

The FMCG company had filed a suit seeking permanent injunction and damages in respect of infringement of its various intellectual properties including the trademark “Dabur”, copyright in the labels and packaging of its various products, passing off and unfair competition.

The company in its plaint stated that these domain names and websites are using the name “Dabur” and depicting the company’s products to call for franchisees and distributors to register themselves for selling its products. Some of these websites were also found to be charging money from franchisees and distributors for the same.

‘Deceiving in nature’

The court said that it found “prima facie” a case for grant of “ex-parte injunction” as “irreparable loss” would be caused to Dabur India. It also noted that the domain names and websites are deceiving and cheating the general public, and therefore the loss to the general public is incalculable. “The attempt is not merely to infringe and pass off, but to indulge in complete impersonation of the company itself,” it added.

In order to curb any malpractice or any monetary harm to the public as also to the franchisees and distributors and to protect the rights of Dabur India, the court, therefore, directed the registry services to block these domain names. It also directed the Department of Telecom and the Ministry of Electronics and IT to issue directions to internet service providers (ISPs) to block these websites.

The court also expressed concerns about the practice of hiding or masking details of registrants who hold domain names that impinge upon owners of trademarks and names. It added that such registrants seek to have domain name registrations and host websites in a concealed or hidden manner without disclosure of their identity. It also directed the DoT and MeitY to disclose their stand in respect of “privacy protect features, provided by domain name Registrars to their Registrants”.

Published on March 16, 2022

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