Association or Deception? Burda Media granted injunction for trademark and magazine ‘Architecture+Design’
Facts of the case
The plaintiff, the owner of the trademark magazine “Architecture + Design,” claimed that the defendants misled their clients into believing that the two companies were somehow associated and working together. The plaintiff also alleged that the defendants used this opportunity to fill their pockets out of the plaintiff’s clients, namely, Spacewood Office Solutions Pvt. Ltd. and Lodestar Media, which crushed the trust of the plaintiff’s clients and ultimately cost them their company’s reputation and profits.
The plaintiff submitted a series of emails between the defendants and the said clients as evidence of misleading the clients. The plaintiffs further established that the defendant carried these deceptive acts forward with the aid of the plaintiff’s former employees- defendant no. 3 to 6, which now worked for defendant no. 1, the owner of the online magazine “The Architecture Design.” Therefore, the defendants took advantage of these circumstances and deceived the plaintiff’s clients, as mentioned above, and potential clients through the online medium.
- “Poaching” by the defendants- by deceiving the plaintiff’s clients and making them believe in a non-existent association between the plaintiff and the defendant.
- The pretense of belonging to the plaintiff’s company- one of the former employees, Sonali Roy, evidently misled the plaintiff’s clients by responding to the said clients’ emails pretending to be still working at the plaintiff’s company.
- Replication of the plaintiff’s images from social media- the defendant has been proved to be imitating specific pictures from the Instagram page of the plaintiff, thereby deceiving the potential clients of the plaintiff and passing off their services as those of the plaintiff.
The court passed an ad-interim injunction against the defendants and all their related associates, servants, subsidiaries, etc., to stop dealing in any business under the plaintiff’s trademark as mentioned above or any mark or variation which is misleading.
Author: Taru Singhal, student of Jamia Hamdard University, New Delhi
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