Chennai, October 20, 2021: The Madras High Court has granted permanent injunction restraining the defendant (Silicon Valley), their directors, partners, agents, licensees and / or all other persons acting on their behalf from in any manner infringing and / or enabling others to infringe plaintiff’s (Matrimony.com) registered trademarks BHARATMATRIMONY and / or its variants by using the identical trademark BHARATMATRIMONY as part of the Domain name or in any other manner whatsoever.
The Bench of Justice Dr. G. Jayachandran granted permanent injunction restraining the defendant, their partners, successors-in-business, and all other persons claiming under them and through them from using or redirecting to the domain name www.bharatmatrimony.org or any other domain name that is identical and / or deceptively similar to that of the plaintiff’s domain name www.bharatmatrimony.com in any manner whatsoever.
The observation came pursuant to a suit filed for seeking injunction restraining the defendant, men and agent from infringing the plaintiff’s registered trademark “BHARATMATRIMONY” and it’s variant.
Going by the background of the case, the plaintiff contended that the defendant’s company “www.siliconinfo.com” was deceptively using the plaintiff’s trademark to redirect internet traffic to the defendant’s website, which had been using the domain name www.bharatmatrimony.org.
The plaintiff had been in the business of arranging matrimonial alliances online since 1997, in the name and style of www.bharatmatrimony.com and that ‘Bharatmatrimony’ was registered with the trademark registry since 2006.
The plaintiff therefore submitted that it had tremendous goodwill and wide acceptance for their online matchmaking services, and by using a similar style and trademark, the defendant had been deceiving potential clients to register on their website instead of the original www.bharatmatrimony.com.
After considering the submissions, the High Court found that the defendant has adopted the domain name www.bharatmatrimony.org, which is squarely prohibited u/s 29 of the Trademark Act, 1999 as ‘infringement’.
Under Section 29(3), if the identical mark used for identical service, the Court shall presume the infringement, added the Court.
Justice Jayachandran noted that the present is a case where the identical mark for identical service is adopted by the defendant and no justification has come forward from the defendant, despite affording opportunity.
The High Court therefore directed the defendant to surrender to the plaintiff for destruction of all master copy, advertising materials, etc. which bears the plaintiff’s registered trademarks and / or any other variants which is phonetically and / or deceptively identical and / or similar to the plaintiff’s registered trademarks or in any other form whatsoever.
The Court however refused to award damages claimed by the plaintiff of rupees ten lakhs for infringing and / or for enabling others to infringe and / or pass off the plaintiff’s trademarks and domain names.