Ld. Counsel appearing for Plaintiffs [Hero Electric Vehicles Private Limited and M/s. V.R. Holdings] submits, domain name of Defendants [Guddu Ansari and M/s. Hero Electro] – www.heroelectro.in – is almost identical to domain name of Plaintiffs – www.heroelectric.in.
A comparative table is set out herein below:
Defendant Nos. 1 & 2 have set up www.heroelectro.in to dupe general public as also gullible consumers. It is very easy for members of public to presume, Defendant Nos. 1 & 2’s website is connected with Plaintiffs. Plaintiffs’ rights would be severally impinged if Defendant Nos. 1 & 2 are permitted to use impugned domain name and website.
Under provisions of The Commercial Courts Act, 2015 read with Rules 14 and 27 of The Delhi High Court Intellectual Property Rights Division Rules, 2022 and Rule 1 in Chapter VII of The Delhi High Court (Original Side) Rules, 2018, Court may proceed in absence of Defendant or its defence, once summons has been proved to have been served and Plaintiffs have made out a case.
Court is of opinion, this is a fit case for passing exemplary and punitive damages. Learned Single Judge in Koninklijke Philips N.V. v. Amazestore, [CS (COMM) 737/2016, 22/04/2019] laid down principles to be borne in mind and standards for grant of punitive and exemplary damages.
|Degree of Mala Fide Conduct||Proportionate Award|
|First-Time Innocent Infringer||Injunction|
|First-Time Knowing Infringer||Injunction + Partial Costs|
|Repeated Knowing Infringer + Minor Impact to Plaintiff||Injunction + Costs + Partial Damages|
|Repeated Knowing Infringer + Major Impact to Plaintiff||Injunction + Costs + Compensatory Damages|
|Deliberate and Calculated Infringement [Gangster/Scam/Mafia] + Wilful Contempt of Court||Injunction + Costs + Aggravated Damages [Compensatory + Additional Damages]|
This case clearly falls in Category (V) as held in Koninklijke Philips. Accordingly, suit is decreed for a sum of Rs. 50 Lakhs in favour of Plaintiff and against Defendant Nos. 1 & 2. In addition, litigation costs of Rs. 3 lakhs are also awarded, to be paid by Defendant Nos. 1 & 2 to Plaintiff. Defendant No. 3, GoDaddy, is directed to transfer domain name www.heroelectro.in to Plaintiffs. If any charges are to be paid for said transfer, Plaintiffs shall pay same.
– Hon’ble Justice Prathiba M. Singh of Hon’ble High Court of Delhi, Hero Electric Vehicles Private Limited v. Guddu Ansari, [I.A. 15337/2021 in CS (COMM) 598/2021] decided on 21.04.2022.