The Delhi High Court recently in the case Livspace PTE. LTD & Anr v Livspace-Reviews.Com & Ors observed and has expressed concern over the alarming rise in cases of Trademark infringement by anonymous persons on internet.
A single bench of Justice Prathiba M. Singh observed that matters in which unknown persons are infringing and using well-known marks, to the detriment of the holder of the mark, are mushrooming at an alarming rate.
In the present case, the observations came in an suit filed by an interior designing platform ‘Livspace’ against a website namely ‘www.livspace-reviews.com’ created by anonymous persons, whereby reviews of disparaging and some defamatory nature were being posted against the company.
Before the court, it was alleged that the entire look and feel of the Defendant’s rogue website was copied from that of the Plaintiff.
The Court noted and remarked that the website was completely devoid of any details whatsoever. The details of any of the persons who had written such scathing reviews were also being not available. These are the “perils of some internet-based businesses.
Further, the court noticed that the content on the impugned website was extremely critical of the Plaintiffs and could have a serious and deleterious impact on the Plaintiffs’ business.
It was observed by the court that there can be no doubt that general criticism and review would be permissible in terms of any business, the fact that the entire website, its operations, the persons reviewing, etc., have been totally masked, without any details provided whatsoever, clearly gives the Court the feeling that the same is clandestine and ingenuine.
The court granted an ex-parte ad interim injunction against rogue website and thus ordered that the domain name be blocked until the next date of hearing.
Also, the court ordered a detailed investigation by the Cyber Crime Unit, Special Cell of the Delhi Police, into the ownership and persons involved in running the said website.
Accordingly, the court listed the matter for hearing on 13 September 2022.