Domain, TM & Identity Wars: ADOBE, INC v. NAMASE PATEL AND OTHERS
Adobe Inc (Plaintiff) filed a case against Namase Patel, (the defendant), who registered the domain names “www.addobe.com” and “www.adobee.com,” which infringed their iconic trademark & brand name. Although a common occurrence globally, this case sets the precedent for possible repercussions for registering such closely related domain names, trademarks, etc to popular brand names. Maybe a quick payout or buyback is now a distant dream for Namase Patel who was sued for a permanent injunction, passing off, disclosure of sensitive information, unfair trade practices, domain name transfer, account rendition, and damages.
A serial offender, it seems that Namase Patel has gotten multiple restraining orders as a frequent registrant of variations of well-known trademarks. The plaintiff was made aware of the purported usage of undesirable domains. It discovered a few emails that the defendant unintentionally received because the email sender made a spelling error and was intended for distribution within the defendant’s organisation.
According to the claimant, Namase Patel routinely registers variations of well-known trademarks. A number of orders have been issued against him in line with the Arbitral Forum’s processes under the ICANN’s Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (“UDRP”). They also utilised Above.com’s services, and any emails sent with a misspelling of the Plaintiff’s domain name, such as “…@addobe.com” or “…@adobee.com,” were received by Namase Patel’s mailbox due to a feature known as catch-all configuration. Plaintiff further highlighted a number of rulings issued by the World Intellectual Property Organization Arbitration and Mediation Centre and the United States National Arbitration Forum (“NAF”) directing the transfer or locking of domain names that Namase Patel had wrongfully registered.
The court decided that the defendant regularly registered a number of distinct domains. Cyber-squatting is not promoted and is clearly illegal, as the Supreme Court said in Satyam Infoway Ltd. v. Sifynet Solutions Pvt. Ltd. The use of trademarks as domain names creates a negative image.
Namase Patel and anyone acting on his behalf are specifically prohibited from using the Infringing Domains www.addobe.com and www.adobee.com, as well as registering any domain name that contains the Plai.
The Cyber Cell of the Mumbai Police has also been tasked with conducting an investigation and providing a status report on the person or persons who registered the Infringing Domains www.addobe.com and www.adobee.com, as well as those who use the email address [email protected].
- CS (COMM) 159/2022