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October 10, 2019

FLIPKART Declared A Well-Known Trade Mark By Madras HC

Author: Sneha Tandon

In the matter of Flipkart Internet Private Limited v. Somasundaram Ramkumar [C.S.No.848 of 2017], the Madras High Court in its Order dated September 13, 2019, granted a permanent injunction in favour of the Plaintiff, restraining the Defendant from using the trademark FLIPPINGKART.

The Plaintiff is an e-commerce company operating through the website www.flipkart.com. The Plaintiff is the registered proprietor of the trademarks FLIPKART, FLIPCART and FLIPKART.COM in classes 02, 03, 05, 06, 07, 10, 12, 14, 15, 16, 18, 20, 21, 26, 35, 38, 41, 42 & 45. The Plaintiff also claims ownership of copyright in the artistic works as set out below –

It was the Plaintiff’s case that that Defendant had unauthorizedly registered a website www.FlippingKart.com in May 2017 to encash upon the reputation and goodwill earned by the Plaintiff amongst the general public in its prior registered trademark “FLIPKART”, and with the intent of passing off its goods and services as that of the Plaintiff. Further, the Defendant also filed an application for registration of the trademark FLIPPINGKART in CLASS 38.  The Plaintiff alleged that the Defendant’s usage of the FLIPPINGKART amounted to infringement and passing off if its trademark FLIPKART.  

In its ex-parte judgement, the Court was of the view that “the Defendant had adopted the registered trademark of the Plaintiff only with a mala fide intention to spoil the immense goodwill and reputation earned by the Plaintiff among the consumers/general public and therefore, the same would not only amounts to infringement of the Plaintiff’s registered trademark, “FLIPKART”, but also it would amounts to passing off their goods or business or services as those of Plaintiff.”  The court also allowed the Plaintiff’s prayer to declare its trademark FLIPKART as a well-known trade mark.

Disclaimer: Views, opinions, interpretations are solely those of the author, not of the firm (ALG India Law Offices LLP) nor reflective thereof. Author submissions are not checked for plagiarism or any other aspect before being posted.

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