Date of Judgment –19th February, 1999
Court – Delhi High Court
Owner of “Yahoo! Inc.”– Plaintiff
Akash Arora owner of ”Yahooindia.com”– Respondent
Subject: Domain name ‘Cyber Squatting’ in India.
The court observed the 4 essentials which enshrined likewise,
The Defendant pointed out “passing off” services
The principle underlying the action is that no man is entitled to carry on his business in such a way as to lead to the belief that he is carrying on the business of another man or to lead to believe that he is carrying on or has any connection with the business carried on by another man. It is also well-established that passing off action is a common law remedy.
Therefore, if the two competing parties are involved in the similar business, confusion and deception arise.
As in this case both Plaintiff and Defendant are running their business which are identical.
The plaintiff is the owner of trademark under domain name Yahoo.com
The plaintiff had already registered in 1995. However, in 69 countries the registration is pending including India, that does not mean that someone can use the Same Domain which has already been registered.
The plaintiff is a global Internet media rendering services under the domain name/trade name ‘Yahoo!’. The plaintiff was amongst the first in the field to have a domain name ‘Yahoo’ and also to start a Web directory and provide search services. The plaintiff is admittedly providing various services including services on the regional section also. In view of growing popularity of ‘Yahoo!’ of the plaintiff, it was submitted that many third parties started imitations by using sound-alike names in order to appropriate the reputation and goodwill acquired by the plaintiff in respect of the trademark/name ‘Yahoo!’ in India and that the defendants is one of such parties.
The 4 essentials enshrined in the case of Monetary Overseas Vs. Montari Industries Ltd.,1996 PTC 42 were fulfilled in the present case.
The judgment was counted amongst one of the torch-bearing judgments in the cases involving passing off. Due application of mind and reason has been exhibited in the case.
The principle underlying the action for passing off is that no man is entitled to carry on his business in such a way as to lead to the belief that he is carrying on the business of another man or to lead to believe that he is carrying on or has any connection with the business carried on by another man.
The Principle of ‘No pain no gain’ applied and the judgment was rightly passed in the favor of the plaintiff ‘Yahoo Inc.’
The defendants are also restrained from copying the contents of the programs of the plaintiff under the domain name ‘Yahoo.com’.