The Hon’ble Delhi High Court (hereinafter referred to as ‘the High Court’ or ‘the Court’) has restrained a USA based company Ink Mango Inc. (herein after referred to as the ‘Defendants’) from using the word ‘juggernaut’ on their website ‘www.juggernaut.com’ and from publishing any content because it amounts to trademark infringement. In an ex-parte decision, the Court also ordered Namecheap Inc., the company which registered the Defendant-website, to block the domain name for further use.
- The suit1 was filed by Juggernaut Books Pvt. Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as the Plaintiff) seeking permanent injunction restraining infringement of trademark, passing off, dilution, unfair competition, damages, delivery up, etc.
- The Plaintiff is a publisher of books and e-books written by various well-known authors through a web-based software on its platform - ‘www.juggernaut.in’ since 2015.
- The trademark “JUGGERNAUT” is registered in India in Class 16 and is pending registration in Classes 41 and 42.
- One of the writer associated with the Plaintiff, William Dalrymple, was approached by the Defendants to publish on their website – ‘www.juggernaut.com’.
- The Plaintiff was informed about the same by the writer and thus, they decided to move to the High Court.
Contentions of the Plaintiff
- The Counsel for the Plaintiff informed the Court that some companies had already confused between the two domain names.
- It was also contended that the Defendants had been deliberately targeting users from India and especially Delhi as the portal was designed for South Asia.
- The Plaintiff also argued that the Defendants’ portal was very recent and even after two notices being written, no reply was forthcoming.
Court’s Decision and Analysis
- The High Court observed that, “A perusal of the website clearly shows that the Defendants are targeting customers based in India or publishing in India, as is evident from the email addressed to Mr. William Dalrymple. The articles published by the Defendants also have a connection with India, Indian authors, Indian movies, Indian actors etc. The Defendants are clearly targeting Indian customers and are trying to promote their platform in India. The Defendants run a digital publishing website just like the Plaintiff. The Plaintiff is clearly the prior user of the mark, ‘Juggernaut‟ for digital publishing and Defendants are using the name ‘The Juggernaut‟. The confusion, especially on the internet, is evident from the material placed on record where the Plaintiff’s website is showing up on the Defendant’s search page and vice versa. The Defendants’ portal is very recent and despite two notices being written, no reply was forthcoming. Moreover, in the internet world, confusion can be worse as the names are identical, the service being provided is identical and the target customer base is identical. Various users have made comments on the social media pages of the Defendants’ portal which establishes that there is confusion already being created between the two portals.”
- The Court further added, “Under these circumstances, the Defendants and anyone acting for and on their behalf, are restrained from using the mark/word ‘Juggernaut‟ including the domain name ‘www.thejuggernaut.com’ or any other mark/name that is similar to the Plaintiff’s trademark `JUGGERNAUT’ for the purposes of digital publishing, publication of articles, books and other content or any other form of publishing services including in online platforms, social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin etc., so as to result in infringement of the Plaintiff’s registered trademark and passing off of the Defendants’ services as that of the Plaintiff.”