An Indian firm has been restrained from using the ‘Yahoo’ trademark or any other deceptively similar mark as its product names by Delhi High Court which said it amounted to infringement of the registered trademark of the US-based Yahoo Inc.
The judgement came on a suit filed by Yahoo Inc, a global technology company, seeking permanent injunction to restrain Apricot Foods Pvt Ltd (AFPL), its Director Sanjay Patel and Shri Jee Traders from allegedly infringing its trademark.
Justice S Muralidhar also passed a decree in favour of Yahoo Inc and asked AFPL and its director to pay it Rs 32 lakh damages and Rs 6.44 lakh as cost.
AFPL and its director were proceeded ex-parte as they had neither appeared,nor filed written statement before the court.
Shri Jee Traders told the court that they were not dealing in products with Yahoo trademark and also gave an undertaking in this regard, following which Yahoo Inc said it was not pressing for damages against them.
Yahoo Inc claimed that AFPL was infringing its trademark and marketing their merchandise under the name ‘Yahoo Masala Chakra’ and ‘Yahoo Tomato Tangy’.
“The plaintiff (Yahoo Inc) has been able to prove that defendants 1 and 2 (AFPL and its director) have adopted the plaintiff’s trademark as the name of their product in order to piggyback on the reputation of the plaintiff and (its) trademark and that such adoption of the trademark Yahoo for AFPL’s snack items is undoubtedly dishonest,” the court said, adding AFPL has taken had taken an “unfair advantage” of the Yahoo Inc trademark.
Yahoo Inc told the court that AFPL mostly used Everest and e-vita brand names to manufacture and sell snack foods including potato chips. But in 2014, Yahoo Inc learnt that the firm was infringing its trademark Yahoo.
“In the result, the court issues a decree of permanent injunction restraining defendant Nos. 1 and 2, their principal officers, servants and agents, group/sister concerns/companies from manufacturing, selling, offering for sale, distributing products or offering services, advertising including on the Internet, and in any other manner using the Yahoo trademark or any other deceptively similar mark as part of their product name etc amounting to infringement of plaintiff’s registered trademarks,” the court said.
“The Court issues a decree in favour of the Plaintiff and against Defendants 1 and 2 in the sum of Rs 32,00,000 towards damages. A decree in the sum of Rs 6,44,000 in favour of the Plaintiff and against Defendants 1 and 2 towards costs incurred by the Plaintiff,” it said.