Delhi High Court bars use of “Naukri” as a trade name

Co-authored by Ms. Shristi Bansal, LexOrbis Associate and Mr. Amitesh Giroti, fifth year student of Vivekananda Institute of Professional Studies, IP University, New Delhi

confusion-1537965The Delhi High Court in a recent suit has passed restraining order against a Noida based portal (Defendants) from using the mark “Naukri” as a trade name that is likely to confuse public into believing that it is connected to “Naurkri.com”. Info Edge Limited (Plaintiff) runs the popular job search portal “Naukri.com”, along with other numerous websites such as “jeevansathi.com”.

It is contended by the Plaintiff that the Defendants, after registering its companies as “prospective employers” on the Plaintiff’s website, started accessing its database. Later, spam e-mails were sent out to the users of naukri.com using ‘naukrinews’ as the domain name. These spam emails falsely stated ‘naukrinews’ to be a sister concern of naukri.com[1]. It was only due to the deficient services provided to the users that they realised that there was no connection between the two. This came to the knowledge of the Plaintiff only when complaints from users started pouring in. Therefore, a police complaint was also filed, the inquiry of which is still pending.

The Plaintiff had a market reputation which was based on their domain. If in any manner their domain name is used by some other person, it is likely to cause adverse effect to the reputation of the Plaintiff. Goodwill and reputation are intangible assets in the form of good name, benefits and advantages which accrue to the producer and hence are an integral associated to trademarks.

The court while granting the ex-parte injunction stated that use of the mark naukrinews.com, the word “Naukri” or any other mark comprising of the word, “Naukri” as a prefix, suffix or an integral part of domain name, trademark or trade name in manner that is likely to deceive the public or make anyone believe that the Defendant’s services are in any manner connected with or to the Plaintiffs trademark is prohibited.

[1]“Delhi High Court restrains site from infringing trademark of naukri.com”, available at
http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2016-01-10/news/69653710_1_naukri-com-info-edge-job-portal

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