The Delhi Prime Courtroom not too long ago restrained a virtual advertising and marketing provider supplier from the usage of the mark ‘WhitehatSR’, after on-line edtech start-up ‘WhiteHat JR’ moved the HC claiming trademark infringement and passing off.
After evaluating the logos of the 2 events, in addition to their domains, a single-judge bench of Justice Amit Bansal, in its December 12 order, noticed that the marks utilized by defendant — Vinay Kumar Singh — are deceptively very similar to the ones of the plaintiff — Whitehat Training Era Non-public Restricted.
The HC stated that the “alternative of the suffix ‘Sr’ in ‘WhiteHat Jr’ would now not lead to a subject material distinction” as a way to distinguish the 2 marks.
The HC, in its “prima facie opinion”, held that “customers might be misled” that Singh is in some method related/affiliated with Whitehat Training Era Non-public Restricted or that their services and products are hooked up.
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Granting an intervening time injunction, the HC mentioned that the plaintiff corporate have been ready to make out a prima facie case in its favour and that the steadiness of comfort is in favour of the edtech start-up and in opposition to the virtual advertising and marketing provider supplier. It additional held that “irreparable hurt and harm could be led to to the goodwill and popularity” of the start-up if the defendant continues to make use of the “WhitehatSR” trademark.
“In consequence, until the following date of listening to, the defendant, its brokers, representatives and/or all different appearing for and on its behalf are restrained from the usage of the marks ‘WHITEHAT SR’ or another deceptively an identical variant thereof as a hallmark, business identify, area identify, as part of its e-mail cope with/es or in another method which quantities to infringement of the plaintiff’s logos,” the order learn.
The courtroom additionally directed the defendant to take down all social media pages which infringe the plaintiff corporate’s trademark. It additional directed area identify registrar Godaddy.com LLC to droop get entry to and operation of the web page “whitehatsr.in” and take down the defendant’s area identify.
The edtech start-up, in August 2020, was once received through Assume & Be told Non-public Restricted, usually referred to as “Byju’s”. The HC was once advised that the plaintiff corporate had registered its “WhiteHat JR” trademark, in addition to its different derivatives, in over 38 categories beneath the Logos Act. The plaintiff corporate stated that it additionally holds the area identify “whitehatjr.com”, which was once registered on Would possibly 23, 2018. It was once argued that the “WhiteHat JR” trademark had received the standing of a “widely known” trademark because of its unique and in depth use through the plaintiff corporate.
The edtech start-up got here throughout Singh’s web page “www.whitehatsr.in” in October this yr. The plaintiff corporate discovered that Singh is within the industry of offering services and products relating virtual advertising and marketing beneath the “WHITEHAT SR” trademark, which could also be used as a part of the defendants’ area identify i.e., “whitehatsr.in”, registered on March 9, 2020. The courtroom was once knowledgeable that the defendant operates more than a few social media platforms beneath the identify as neatly.
In consequence, on October 4, the plaintiff corporate despatched a criminal realize to Singh, asking him to stop the usage of the “WhitehatSR” trademark. “A reaction was once won from the defendant on 18th October, 2022 by which the defendant said the plaintiff’s highbrow belongings rights in its ‘WhiteHat Jr’ logos and it was once claimed that the impugned marks are other from the marks of the plaintiff’s and are getting used for various services and products i.e., consultancy services and products,” the HC famous. The edtech start-up, thereafter, moved the HC in a lawsuit searching for “everlasting injunction”, restraining infringement of its logos and passing off.