Delhi High Court has recently restrained the owner of a confectionary named Facebake from using any trademark deceptively similar to that of the social media Tech Giant Meta Platforms, Facebook’s Trademark, permanently. This decision comes after Facebook filed a Trademark Infringement Lawsuit against the confectionary on the grounds of identity theft and plagiarism.
As we all know, the Facebook logo is a well-known trademark worldwide. Anybody can recognize the company’s Trademark from a distance; such is the familiarity with the mascot. Taking advantage of their online presence, as was accused by the Lawsuit, the defendant, Noufel Malol, adopted the overall visual representation of the plaintiff’s logo. The mala fide intent is depicted by the visual similarity and the sound homogeneity of the Confectionary’s and Media company’s Trademark Logo.
One of the reasons for which the judgement was in favour of the Meta company was that Facebake when a lawsuit was filed against it, didn’t defend its Trademark in Court. They didn’t even bother preparing for a defence, but changed the company's name to Facecake. Further, the judge noted that using a mark similar to Facebook could lead to an unwary consumer being interested in taking note of the defendant as having some connection with the plaintiff. He also expressed the mala fide intent of the defendant, which was evident from the interim injunction passed against the use of 'Facebake' and his unwillingness to defend it.
Court’s Analysis of the case
The Court said that in this case, though both the plaintiff and the defendants have some distinguishable features in terms of their branding, but the overall visual representation of the defendants had starking similarity to that of the defendant, which gave the defendant an unfair advantage for using the trademark similar to that of the plaintiff. This could even lead to the dilution of the mark of the plaintiff. Also, it can lead to an unwary consumer being at least interested in taking note of the defendants as having some connection with the plaintiff.
Final Verdict: Tech Giant wins the suit
In their final call, the High Court permanently restrained the defendant and its subsidiaries from using the following:
The Court also awarded damages of 50,000 to the plaintiff and against the defendant.
What worked for Meta in this case of Trademark Infringement?
It is not disputed in the country that the plaintiff's Trademark is well-known in India. Facebook's user base and reach are evident in its online presence for more tha a decade. Nevertheless, the plaintiff alos submitted relevant documents to showcase their presence to further their cause in Court. Also, Facebook has amassed registrations of its marks for various classes of goods. Therefore, using a similar mark without any proper Trademark Assignment procedure would certainly amount to unfair competition. Such irresponsibilities become detrimental to the distinct character of the brand and reputation of the plaintiff's Facebook.
Since you have seen that a Tech Giant like Facebook is also vulnerable to such thefts and plagiarism, then you must move to secure your business against potential Trademark Infringments before you incur any losses to the business. So, make a connect with Registrationwala if you want to safeguard your registered Trademark or register your business’s Trademark in a complete infringement-immune manner.