The Delhi High Court, in a recent TM infringement ex-parte suit (Class 39) concerning ‘YahooKochi’, held in favour of Yahoo Inc. (Plaintiff) and directed the defendants to pay compensation of nearly five lakhs rupees. The Court had earlier granted ex-parte ad-interim injunction in favour of Yahoo Inc. The judgment is available here.
According to the petitioner, “defendants are infringing the plaintiff’s trade mark. In support of his contention, he referred to a print out from defendants’ website- www.yahookochi.com (Ex.PW1/22). He also referred to photographs of defendants’ premises and the business card of the defendants to show that they are using the old YAHOO logo of the plaintiff.” Even though cease and desist notice was issued in 2015, the defendants refused to comply.
On perusing the evidence, the Court came to the conclusion that the defendant grossly infringed the trademark of the plaintiff. The relevant parts of the judgment are as follows:
“………………….the adoption of the YAHOO mark by the defendants is dishonest as is evident from the fact that the font used by the defendants to represent YAHOO in their trading name is identical to the unique stylized font which the plaintiff used to represents its YAHOO trade mark till 2014. There is also no plausible explanation for the adoption of the identical mark as part of trading name and domain name of the defendants. Further, the defendants cannot have any justification for the adoption of the mark YAHOO. The potentiality of harm is enormous on the internet as the plaintiff has a very wide internet presence and operates various YAHOO formative websites.
9. In any event, as the averments in the plaint have not been rebutted by the defendants inspite of ample opportunities given by this Court, they are deemed to have been admitted.”
The outcome is on expected lines considering the settled legal position on cyber squatting. [here] The judgment rightly recognised ‘unique stylized font’ as an element of trademark.