The question of whether or not a trademark’s use on the Google Ads Program as a keyword would constitute Trademark Infringement is all set to be duly considered by the Delhi High Court.
Justice Prathiba M. Singh will be making a formal judgment on the said question while dealing with a lawsuit filed by Upcurve Business Services Pvt. Ltd., which is a company specializing in the travel business. Upcurve operates a one-stop travel website by the name of ‘udchalo.com’ and has also won several awards.
The lawsuit involved the plaintiff’s (Upcurve) mark ‘udChalo,’ which is registered in Class 39, relating to both online and offline travel arrangements, booking of seats, including air ticketing, flight booking, tours and travels, and so on.
According to the plaintiff, the defendants in the lawsuit include Easy Trip Planners Pvt. Ltd. (EaseMyTrip.com) and HappyFares.in, both of which were accused of using the term ‘udChalo’ as a keyword on the Google Ads Program to attract online users to their respective websites.
After recording Easy Trip Planners’ recording, the Court had earlier passed an order restricting it from using the plaintiff’s trademark as a keyword. Since HappyFares.in wasn’t represented in the Delhi HC, the Court was forced to grant an ad-interim injunction to restrain it from using the plaintiff’s ‘udChalo’ mark as a keyword for promoting its own travel business. Consequently, the Court opined that the use of the mark ‘udChalo’ by HappyFares.in would constitute trademark infringement. The Court noted that since HappyFares.in was involved in the business of travel services, its use of the mark ‘udChalo’ as a keyword to promote its business would be a violation of the plaintiff’s exclusive Trademark Rights.
Concerning whether or not the matter in question would constitute trademark infringement in law and whether or not the use of a trademark as a keyword would constitute a violation of the Trademark Law, the Court has ordered that the same shall be treated as a part-heard.
Last year in November, the Delhi HC had noted that the search engine giant Google couldn’t exonerate itself from taking the liability of making sure that a keyword doesn’t constitute an infringement of a trademark.
Justice V. Kameswar Rao had also observed that permitting individuals who are not the rightful trademark owners to choose or use a keyword that is a Registered Trademark or use some parts of the trademark interspersed with generic words in the Ad-text or Ad-title may constitute trademark infringement or passing off.
Furthermore, the Court had noted that the use of registered trademarks as keywords amounts to ‘use’ in the course of trade in terms of the Indian Trade Marks Act of 1999. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com
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