Domain names and email IDs have easily replaced billboards and visiting cards and therefore their unauthorised use can severely hamper the goodwill and reputation in a trademark.
Aktiebolaget Volvo (“Volvo”) is a globally well-known automobile company. It is renowned for selling cars and other vehicles and started using the trademark VOLVO since 1915. It is the registered proprietor of, inter alia, the mark ‘VOLVO’ in various classes in India. In India, it is a practice to generically refer to luxury buses as - Volvos.
Volvo came across a website www.vaishalivolvo.com and use of the email ID [email protected], by one Vaishali Travels. Therefore, Volvo filed a trademark infringement suit against Vaishali Travels at the High Court of Delhi seeking an injunction to restrain Vaishali Travels from using VOLVO as part of its domain name/ email ID: Aktiebolaget Volvo & Ors. v. Vaishali Travels & Anr. Volvo claimed that such use was infringement of Volvo’s registered trademarks. Volvo also submitted that its mark has been recognised as a well-known mark by the Bombay High Court in the case of Aktiebolaget Volvo of Sweden v. Volvo Steels Ltd. of Gujarat, 1998 PTC (18) 47
The Delhi High Court heard the matter and observed that the use of the word Volvo as a part of its domain name by Vaishali Volvo amounts to infringement. Courts have been vigilant in granting speedy remedies in cases of such infringement on web based platforms. This is a much faster and more efficient method of stopping the use of a domain name and going through the domain name resolution process in India. The Court ordered that Vaishali Travels be restrained from infringing the trademarks, using, inter alia, the domain name: www.vaishalivolvo.com, meta-tags associated with the impugned domain name and email ids and meta-tags on the source code of the website until the next date of hearing.