The Delhi High Court has blocked an attempt to impersonate the domain name of the official website of Hindustan Times, saying it would confuse the target audience.
Justice Manmohan Singh restrained Navneet Chaturvedi and Hindustan Times Online from using the domain name www.hindustantimesonline.com on the ground that the domain name was similar to the one being operated by Hindustan Times i.e. www.hindustantimes.com.
“The plaintiffs (HT Media Limited and Hindustan Times Limited) have got the domain name registered in their favour namely www.hindustantimes.com and www.hindustantimes.in. Therefore the defendants (Chaturvedi and Hindustan Times Online) are not entitled to use the domain name and website under the name www.hindustantimesonline.com, their logo or create any confusion or deception in the trade,” Justice Singh said.
In case the interim order is not passed, the plaintiffs will suffer irreparable loss and injury, the HC said.
The HC order came on a plea filed by HT Media Limited, the publisher of India’s leading English national daily ‘Hindustan Times’, seeking action against the website and its owners for dishonesty using the company’s registered trademark.
In June 2014, HTML learnt that Chaturvedi was maintaining a website, with the name ‘www.hindustantimesonline.com’, which was providing news in Hindi. The website was not only using a mark that is identical to the registered trademark ‘Hindustan Times’ but also used a logo similar to HTML’s trademark logo “HT”. Not only had the website mischievously used HTML’s registered trademark as its domain name, but also extended its illegal use over social networking platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.