HC grants ex-parte injunction to Indiamart in trademark infringement case

MUMBAI: The Delhi High Court has granted an ex-parte injunction in favour of Indiamart Intermesh and has restrained an individual from using the mark ‘Indiamart’. A Sameer Samim Khan fraudulently tried to misguide the masses by posing as the company’s representative and offered them work from home job opportunities.

A bench led by Justice Pratibha Singh said, “Petitioner (Indiamart) has made out a prima facie case for ex parte ad interim injunction If the activities of defendant (Sameer Khan) are not nipped in the bud, irreparable injury would be caused not only to the company, but also to public at large that may be deceived by the fraudulent activities of defendant. Accordingly, defendant shall stand restrained from using the mark / name / domain name ‘INDIAMART’ or any other mark or name or domain name which is identical or confusingly / deceptively similar to the plaintiff’s mark ‘INDIAMART’.”

The court also held that it was clear that the defendant was passing off and indulging in fraudulent activity by showcasing himself as the company representative and collecting various sums of money by allegedly offering job opportunities. The website leaves no doubt in the mind of the court that the entire business of defendant is mala fide, dishonest and illegal and also contrary to law.

Indiamart Intermesh had filed a suit for permanent injunction seeking protection against the website https://india-mart.co/. The company also alleged that without prior permission Khan illegally used its mark for the purpose of deceiving and duping the general public and trade by misrepresenting himself as the company’s representative.

Essentially, Indiamart, is a business to business (B2B) portal providing internet based marketplace/platform with free and paid listings for promotion of industry, products and services. The platform operates as an interactive platform between buyers and sellers. The Indiamart platform, apart from having an online web-portal, also has a mobile application where businesses can advertise their products.

Moreover, the company also stated that it coined and adopted the mark Indiamart in 1996 and also registered its domain name www.indiamart.com in the same year. Adding that the mark has become distinctive of the firm’s product and services owing to the large reputation built since inception.The turnover of the company for the year 2020-2021 is stated to be to the tune of ₹665 crore rupees.

Further, in August 2022, it came to the company’s notice that Khan under the guise of being a company representative offered a Data Entry Project’. For which he was also offering various plans which could be availed by anyone after payment of application fees of Rs. 899 and ₹1199. He also used the company’s domain to send such job opportunities. Resultantly, the court also directed the fake domain name used by Khan to be blocked and has asked the Cyber Unit, Delhi to carry out necessary investigation in the matter.

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