AAJ TAK – Sabse Tez in catching trademark infringers too

Our Associate, Vishesh Kumar discusses “AAJ TAK – Sabse Tez in catching trademark infringers too”

Recently the Delhi High Court, in Living Media Ltd. & Anr. v. WWW.NEWS-AAJTAK.CO.IN & Ors., granted an ad-interim injunction in favour of the plaintiff restraining the defendants from infringing the ‘AAJ TAK’ trademark.

The plaintiff, one of India’s leading news networks, filed the present suit against the defendants to restrain infringement of its AAJ TAK word, design and composite marks. Living Media presented evidence of its turnover and advertisement expenses incurred by it to establish its extensive and continuous use. Further, Living Media also evidenced its registrations for its marks to establish its statutory rights.

As per Living Media, the defendants have been using the mark “AAJ TAK” as part of their websites/domain names. In support of the above contention, Living Media also presented documentary evidence of the infringement. Living Media even went a step ahead and arrayed the domain name registrars (DNR’s) of the defendants’ websites as parties to the suit.

In light of the contentions and evidence put forward by Living Media, the Delhi High Court held that Living Media has been able to establish a prima facie case in its favour. The Court also stated that the balance of convenience was also in Living Media’s favour given the fact that it had used the aforesaid trademarks extensively for its business.

Given this, the Court directed the DNR’s to block/suspend the websites/domain names pertaining to defendants. Further, the court also directed the defendants to take down uploads from their social media platforms containing the infringing trademarks. Living Media was also granted liberty to serve a copy of this order to said social media platforms.

Lastly, Living Media’s counsel contended that various such ‘rogue’ websites keep cropping up which infringe its statutory rights thus causing disruption to its business. Accordingly, the Court granted Living Media liberty to file an application seeking similar orders against such ‘rogue’ websites/entities at a future stage, if required.

It is important to note that, over the years, the Delhi High Court has been amenable to granting leave to an aggrieved party for seeking future orders against ‘rogue’ websites. This is a welcome step in restraining intellectual property infringement since most ‘rogue’ websites hide behind a cloak of secrecy and are quick to come up with proxy websites when their domain name is blocked.