Another victory for Yahoo! following active period of enforcement
In Yahoo! Inc v Agarwal (Case 1229/2003), the Delhi High Court has granted Yahoo! an injunction preventing a company called Mayaram Foods Ltd from marketing, distributing or selling potato wafers and mineral water, or any other similar product under the brand name 'Yahoo!'. The case marks another victory for Yahoo! in its rigorous trademark enforcement campaign in India.
In order to prevent the Nasik-based food company from using its brand name, Yahoo! submitted that it has licensed its YAHOO! mark for use on merchandise as diverse as computer equipment, toy cars, watches, writing instruments, clothing, posters, clocks, books and magazines. It has also licensed its mark for use in conjunction with a number of foodstuffs, including cakes, candies, ice cream, mints, chocolates and peanuts, although these goods are not available on the Indian market at present.
Yahoo! contended that it was clear from Mayaram Food's use of an identical mark that it was attempting to sell its inferior-quality products on the back of Yahoo!'s international reputation and goodwill.
The Delhi High Court agreed and issued the requested injunction.
Yahoo! has been actively enforcing its trademark rights in India over the past few months and the Indian courts' decisions in these cases tend to suggest that they are consistently acknowledging the global reputation of the YAHOO! mark and are protecting it in relation to a wide range of products, even where Yahoo!-licensed goods are not available in India.
For discussion of another case that forms part of Yahoo!'s recent enforcement campaign see Tea company ordered to drop 'Yahoo' name.
Nikhil Kishnamurthy, Anand & Anand, New Delhi
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