The Delhi High Court, ruling in favor of Tata Sons Pvt. Ltd., has permanently restrained a UK-based company from unauthorisedly using the Registered Trademark ‘TATA’ of the Indian conglomerate for marketing and selling digital tokens or cryptocurrency.
Justice Prathiba M. Singh recently confirmed an ad interim injunction order of the Division Bench. She passed an order of permanent injunction against ‘HakunaMatata $TATA Founders,’ which has now changed its name to Hakumatata Token Ltd. and launched a new business website.
The Appellate Court had even asked the domain name registrar and company to take down the websites in the said lawsuit, including www.tatabonus.com and www.hakunamatata.finance.
In its order passed on 27th September 2022, the Delhi High Court said that the lawsuit in question was liable to be decreed by way of permanent injunction granted based on paragraph 30 of the judgment dated 19th September 2022, passed by the ld. Division Bench of the Court extracted hereinabove. The Court further said that no other reliefs were pressed.
Although the websites in question had no physical presence in India but were accessed in the nation daily, Tata filed the lawsuit seeking a permanent injunction restraining violation or infringement of its registered trademarks.
On 19th September 2022, the Division Bench had set aside an order passed by the Single Judge refusing interim relief to Tata Sons Pvt. Ltd. While the Single Judge didn’t have a doubt over Tata’s entitlement to file the lawsuit in Delhi, it did, however, have a doubt over its extraterritorial jurisdiction to issue a legal injunction against the overseas parties through the way of an ad-interim order.
The Division Bench, in appeal, ruled that there undoubtedly were sufficient indicators to assume jurisdiction for deciding the application for an ad-interim injunction.
‘HakunaMatata $TATA Founders,’ subsequent to the filing of the lawsuit in question, took down its websites www.tatabonus.com and www.hakunamatata.finance and even changed its company name. It also launched a new website called ‘www.hakunamatatatoken.com’ by removing all references to the ‘TATA’ mark. Moreover, the name of the company’s cryptocurrency was also changed to $HKUN Token.
However, Tata Sons Pvt. Ltd. did send a legal notice seeking an undertaking from the company that it would never use the ‘TATA’ mark in the future, to which it didn’t receive any response.
Justice Singh, perusing screenshots of the websites, noted that other than changing the name of the cryptocurrency and domain names, even the ‘TATA’ merchandise being sold on the websites was rebranded as ‘HKUN.’
The Delhi High Court also mentioned that the defendant was repeatedly given notices and summons; however, they chose not to appear before the Court. The Court said that since no other physical or email addresses were available to contact the defendant and the impugned websites were also taken down, issuance of further notices and summons to the defendant in the lawsuit discussed became an impossibility. As of now, the defendant is being proceeded against ex parte. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com
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