Microsoft granted interim protection against Vacation Rental Services in trademark infringement case
Microsoft Corporation & Anr. (plaintiffs) filed a case against Vacation Rental Services Private Limited & Ors, (defendants) seeking a permanent injunction for using their well-known trademark ‘Microsoft’ and other formative marks and misrepresenting an association with the plaintiffs.
The plaintiff adopted the ‘Microsoft’ mark in 1975 and has been using the mark continuously since then. They exercise common law right to prevent third parties from using marks that are deceptively similar to their trademark, which amounts to infringement, passing off, and consumer confusion, thus tarnishing the plaintiff’s reputation. The ‘Microsoft’ mark was also declared a well-known trademark by this Hon’ble Court in the case of Microsoft Corporation vs. Kurapati Venkata Jagdeesh Babu. The plaintiffs have been granted over 150 ex-parte ad-interim injunction orders protecting different facets of IPR, including their famous mark.
The defendants used the plaintiff’s trademarks without due authorization or license and misrepresented their affiliation with the plaintiffs to defraud innocent customers. The plaintiffs had lodged an FIR against the defendants after the Cyber Cell, southeast District; Police Station, had received an anonymous complaint of fraudsters running an online fraud racket from their call center. They were targeting foreign nationals in Spain, posing as the plaintiff’s executives. Upon searching, the police seized many hard disks, laptops, wifi routers, fake invoices containing the Microsoft logo and their registered address, etc., from the defendant’s premises.
The plaintiff further submitted that a criminal proceeding is pending before a criminal court in Spain, where various persons have been accused of committing the crime of continuous mass fraud, money laundering, and other related crimes. Some of the accused in the Spanish proceedings have maintained contact with one of the defendants in this suit. The plaintiff also submitted that all the defendants in this suit are acting together to carry out the infringing activities and duping innocent victims on the false pretext that they are in some way associated with the plaintiff.
Justice Jyoti Singh of the Hon’ble Delhi High Court granted an ex-parte interim injunction order to the plaintiffs and restrained the defendants from using the ‘Microsoft’ mark and formative marks that infringe the plaintiff’s trademarks. Further, the Court also restrained the defendant from misrepresenting and impersonating the plaintiffs.
 2014 SCC Online Del 521
Disclaimer: This article is intended to provide general guidance to the subject matter. It does not contain legal advice. For any specific advice/corrections, write to [email protected]
© ZEST IP