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Reputation & Goodwill Well Established: Delhi High Court Passes John Doe Order In Favour Of AAJ TAK In… – Live Law – Indian Legal News

Observing that the reputation and goodwill in the name and mark ‘AAJ TAK’ is well established, the Delhi High Court has passed a john doe order in favour of the news channel in a trademark infringement suit filed by it against various entities.The order was passed by Justice Pratibha M Singh as John Doe since the owner name of the impugned domain names is hidden.The suit was filed by Living…
Observing that the reputation and goodwill in the name and mark ‘AAJ TAK’ is well established, the Delhi High Court has passed a john doe order in favour of the news channel in a trademark infringement suit filed by it against various entities.

The order was passed by Justice Pratibha M Singh as John Doe since the owner name of the impugned domain names is hidden.
The suit was filed by Living Media India Limited which had registered the mark ‘AAJ TAK’. According to the plaintiffs, the mark ‘AAJ TAK’ was a well-known mark which is used extensively on social media. The Plaintiffs had created various accounts, profiles and handles on social media and content sharing platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram etc. wherein millions of people subscribe to them.
It was submitted by the Plaintiffs that various known and unknown parties had started using its trademark ‘AAJ TAK’ on online platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. It was further averred that various parties had also uploaded videos using infringing marks which were either derived from the mark ‘AAJ TAK’ or use the mark ‘TAK’ as suffix.
Some parties are also using similar logo forms and According to the Plaintiffs, such indiscriminate use of ‘AAJ TAK’ mark on online platforms severely impinged upon the their rights in their marks and names.
Defendant Nos.1 to 30 were anonymous websites, YouTube channels, social media pages, social media handles, and social media accounts which were violating the registered marks of the Plaintiffs by using their marks and their various derivative forms illegally and unauthorisedly.
It was argued on behalf of Twitter and Google that the said Defendants were only intermediaries and only upon a court order being passed, can the posts or profiles or accounts be taken down. Reliance was placed upon Rule 3(1)(d) of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.
It added that there were a large number of infringing posts/profiles/accounts which are being used on the internet against which injunction was sought in the suit.
Thus, the Court was prima facie convinced that a case was made out for grant of an ad-interim injunction against some of the Defendants.
The Court thus issued directions qua specific offending names or platforms or accounts or posts namely AABTAK NEWS CHANNEL (YouTube Channel), Rajasthan TAK (YouTube Channel), Aap TAK (Youtube Channel), AapTAK news Channel (Facebook Page), Aap Tak News Channel (Instagram Page), Aap TAK Network (YouTube Channel), Aap Tak (Facebook Page), Aap Tak (Instagram Page), Haryana Tak (Facebook page), Haryana Tak (YouTube channel), Samay Tak News (Facebook Page), Samay Tak News (YouTube Channel), Samaytak news.com (Website), Samay Tak (YouTube Channel), sachtaknews .com (Website), Sach Tak News (Youtube Channel), Sach Tak News (Facebook page), Sach Tak News (Instagra m Page), Sach Tak News (Twitter Page), Kal Tak (Facebook Page), Ab Tak TV News Channel (Facebook Page), Ab Tak Breaking News (Facebook Page), abtaktvlive.com (Website), Ab Tak Tv News Channel (Instagram Page), Ab Tak TV News Channel (Twitter Page), Ab Tak TV News Channel Pvt. Ltd. (YouTube Channel), Ab Tak TV Live (Google Play Store Mobile Application, Twitter tak Website, Twitter tak twitter page and Twitter tak Instagram page.
Regarding the anonymous Defendants described as John Does, the Court issued the following directions:
– Wherever the mark ‘AAJ TAK’ is being identically used on an online platform such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or in any videos, the same shall be taken down within 36 working hours upon information, including the specific URLs, being given by the Plaintiffs to the respective platforms i.e., Defendant Nos.31 to 36.
– In the case of a deceptive logo or a different mark with either the word ‘AAJ’ or ‘TAK’ being contained in the mark, the social media platform shall take down the said page/video/post within a period of 36 working hours as per Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.
– In the case of pages/videos/posts where the platforms do not take it down, within 36 hours, intimation shall be given to the Plaintiffs, upon which the Plaintiffs are free to avail of their remedies in accordance with law. Thereafter, upon an order being passed by the Court of competent jurisdiction, the said platform shall abide by the orders, if any, passed.
– For the specific pages/videos/posts to be taken down, the URL shall be supplied by the Plaintiffs to the respective platforms and the same shall be filed on record in an affidavit in the same format as contained in the plaint.
The order is passed on an application for injunction filed under Order 39 Rule 1 and 2 CPC. The main suit is listed for hearing on 3rd August, 2022.
Meanwhile, summons have been issued to the Defendants with a direction to file a written statement within 30 days, along with an affidavit of admission/ denial of the documents presented by the Plaintiff, without which the written statement shall not be taken on record.
Case Title: LIVING MEDIA INDIA LIMITED & ANR. v. AABTAK CHANNEL.COM (JOHN DOES) & ORS.
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Del) 268
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