02 Dec 2021

HERO ELECTRIC VEHICLES PRIVATE LIMITED & ANR. v. MR. GUDDU ANSARI & ORS.

FACTS:

An interim application was filed in the High Court of Delhi by the plaintiff (HERO ELECTRIC VEHICLES PRIVATE LIMITED & ANR.) a renowned electric vehicles and related infrastructure development business in-cooperated in India seeking permanent injunction, damages, infringement of trademarks and passing-off, and other ancillary reliefs to restrain the defendants (MR. GUDDU ANSARI & ORS.) from using the allegedly infringing mark and website.

CONTENTIONS OF THE PLAINTIFF:

The present suit is filed seeking a decree of injunction against the defendants under its well-known brand name/trademark. The Plaintiffs own various Hero formative domains and maintain various Hero formative websites including the website hosted at https://www.heroelectric.in/ which is the subject-matter of present dispute. During the course of business, the Plaintiffs developed several unique and distinctive logos, representations wherein the mark “Hero Electric” has been depicted in an artistic style and are claimed to be the original artistic works within the meaning of Section 2(c) of the Copyright Act, 1957. Hero/Hero Electric has acquired distinctiveness through prolonged, continuous and well-established use thereof by the Plaintiffs.

The plaintiff contends that the Defendants without prior authorization are using the impugned trademarks “Hero” and “Hero Electro” and impugned domain name- www.heroelectro.in thereby infringing the trademark of the Plaintiff.

Mr. Guddu Ansari is operating and collecting money through illicit means by employing the impugned website hosted on the domain name– https://www.heroelectro.in/ Defendant No. 2 viz. M/s. Hero Electro is the sole proprietorship firm under the name of “Hero Electro” is soliciting the dealership enquiries for the sale of electric vehicles under the said name and style and also soliciting business of providing services of getting on lease land of third-parties in return of an application fee for setting up electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Defendant No. 3 viz. GoDaddy.com, LLC is the domain registry of the impugned domain name - https://www.heroelectro.in/ and Defendant No. 4 viz. Yes Bank Ltd. is stated to be the Bank wherein an account has been maintained and used by Defendant No. 1 for collecting illegal proceeds from unwary customers. The website of the Defendants No. 1 and 2 is identical to that of Plaintiff’s website (including its user interface, texts, pictures and layout).

FINDINGS OF THE CASE:

The court is of the opinion that the Plaintiffs have established a prima facie case in their favour. The balance of convenience also lies in favour of the Plaintiffs and irreparable loss would be caused otherwise. The defendants were indulged in publishing and displaying the information/ literary content/artistic works and logos on its impugned website - www.heroelectro.in/ thereby infringing the copyrights of the Plaintiffs in their artistic and literary works and website - www.heroelectric.in hence Defendant no.2 was restrained to use the same. Defendant No. 3 is directed to disclose details of the registrant of the impugned domain name - https://heroelectro.in/ to the Plaintiff and to suspend the access and operation to the said impugned website or domain name - https://heroelectro.in/. Defendant No. 4 is directed to disclose details of the account holder bearing No. 075791900014631 and any other bank account operated by the name and style of M/s Hero Electro within its bank and to freeze and suspend the operations of the said bank accounts.