Facebook Vs Facebake And The Rise Of Trademark Infringements Wars In India
On July 11, the Delhi HC restrained a Bengaluru-based cakery from using the name 'Facebake' or 'Facecake', or any other Facebook-related trademark for its products and services
The court in the Snapdeal case also directed Domain Name Registrars to create a mechanism for brands to seek cancellation or transfer of domain names that infringe trademark
India's current laws that govern trademark infringements include the Trademark Act, 1999, which was developed to comply with the TRIPS agreement of the WTO
This week saw hectic activity in the world of Indian trademark infringement. The week began with the Delhi High Court permanently restraining a Bengaluru-based cakery from using the name 'Facebake' or 'Facecake', or any other Facebook-related trademark for its products and services.
In an interesting turn of event, Justice Navin Chawla, who was hearing the case, ordered the bakery to deliver all finished and unfinished products bearing the trademark similar to Meta, the parent company of Facebook, for the purpose of 'erasure or destruction'.
As if this was not enough, the Court also awarded INR 50,000 in nominal damages in favour of the deep-pocketed tech giant Meta. The Delhi HC also ordered the shop owner to shoulder the burden of the cost of Meta's suit.
As the week came to a close, the Delhi HC again ruled in another trademark case. Justice Pratibha M Singh observed that the Domain Name Registrars （DNRs） ought to create a mechanism via which trademark owners could approach the DNRs and seek cancellation or transfer of domain names that infringe their trademark.
Domain name is the name under which a website is visible to the general public, while DNRs are companies that allow users to register them, such as GoDaddy, Namecheap, among others.
This particular case was filed by Snapdeal against GoDaddy regarding various domain names that were registered on the DNR under the trademark 'Snapdeal'.
The judgements threw light on the country's burgeoning trademark ecosystem that has seen infringement cases filed left, right and centre.
Trademarks are unenforceable across India in particular segments. The bustling flea markets of Mumbai and Delhi are testament to the wide variety of cheap knock-offs available. Be it 'Adibas' or 'Hike', many brands with no manufacturing addresses populate the streets and corners, building on the eponymous brand they rip-off.
The rip-offs are also rampant because trademark infringements in such cases are impossible to track. While injunctions can be obtained against unknown persons in such cases, it is difficult to track these dubious operators in most cases.