On Monday, the Delhi High Court allowed an appeal by Tata Sons Private Limited against Hakunamatata TATA, a crypto company. The latter had been found to be selling and exchanging cryptocurrency by the name of ‘TATA coin.
The court said in an order that the latter’s usage of the word ‘TATA’ in its cryptocurrency appears to be ‘ unscrupulous’ because it cannot be ruled out that the latter was unaware of the ‘TATA brand’ because of their foreign origin. The court went on to say that using the name ‘TATA’ by the latter could be an attempt to deceive the public.
The order read, “As stated above, people behind the website are stated to be people of Pakistani origin in the UK. Their awareness of ‘TATA’ brand cannot be ruled out, which makes their motive suspect. The way the trademark ‘TATA’ has been lifted and adopted as it is, without even an attempt to disguise it with a prefix or a suffix to claim distinctiveness, appears to be unscrupulous."
The court further said that using the name TATA could be an attempt by the crypto company to deceive the public. They said, " It cannot further be ruled out that it could be an attempt by respondent No. 1 to deceive the public by selling inferior and dubious products in the name of TATAs.”
However, with respect to the domain name based on the words 'hakunamatata finance’, the court held that it did not infringe the ‘TATA’ trademark. The court further observed that the name ‘hakunamatata’ did not cause any deception or confusion and was only partially phonetically overlapping with the word ‘TATA’.
The court held that the Tata group has a good case to seek injunction as far as the cryptocurrency TATA coin, or any other product being sold on the website of Hakunamata under the name TATA was concerned.
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