Law & Practice

INDIA: Facebook Granted Injunction Against Facebake

Published: January 13, 2021

Mohan Dewan RK Dewan & Co Mumbai, India INTA Bulletins—Asia-Pacific Subcommittee

Verifier

Ashwin Julka Remfry & Sagar Gurgaon, India INTA Bulletins—Asia-Pacific Subcommittee

The High Court of Delhi, in a November 12, 2020, decision, granted an ex-parte interim injunction against a bakery using the name “Facebake,” restraining it from using the mark or any other mark deceptively similar to Facebook’s registered trademarks.

Facebook Inc. (plaintiff) operates the social media platform Facebook. It filed suit against the bakery, Facebake (defendant), for infringement of its registered trademarks, including the FACEBOOK word mark and several design marks, including the inherently distinctive “f” logos. Facebook Inc. v. Mr. NoufelMalol, CS(COMM) 499/2020).

facebook logos

The defendant was using the FACEBAKE word mark and a logo mark incorporating the word and the color blue, as shown below (bearing TM No. 3836290 in Class 30), for selling confectionaries such as cakes, biscuits, cookies, and articles like watches. It also conducted its business online through the facebake.in website.

facebake logo

In the proceedings before the High Court, Facebook contended that use of the deceptively similar marks by the defendant was causing confusion in the minds of the public at large as to the source of its products and was also degrading the reputation of Facebook and its otherwise well-known trademarks.

The court observed that the FACEBOOK mark is well-known all over the world. It found that the plaintiff had established a strong prima facie case against the defendant with the balance of convenience also in its favor, and that if the interim injunction was not granted, it could cause irreparable harm to the legal rights and business interests of the plaintiff.

Thus, the court granted an interim injunction against the defendant restraining it from using the FACEBAKE mark or any other mark deceptively similar to the plaintiff’s trademarks, including the logos represented by the letter “f.” It also restrained the defendant from operating its www.facebake.in website. The matter is now listed for further proceedings on January 21, 2021.

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