Delhi High Court: In a suit filed by Hamdard National Foundation (India) (‘plaintiff 1′) and Hamdard Dawakhana (‘plaintiff 2′) relating to the product and mark of the Plaintiffs ‘ROOH AFZA’ being sold on defendant’s website ‘Amazon’ not belonging to the plaintiff’s, Prathiba M Singh J. granted an ad-interim injunction in favour of the plaintiff in order to recognize the Plaintiffs’ rights but also to ensure that the products not meant for consumption in India are not sold on the www.amazon.in platform.
The Plaintiffs own rights of ‘HAMDARD’ and ‘ROOH AFZA’ trademarks. The grievance of the Plaintiffs in the present case is that Defendant 1, runs the e-commerce website www.amazon.in. selling and offering for sellingthe product ‘ROOH AFZA’. The defaulting sellers were ‘Royal Sales’ and ‘Good Health Enterprises’ and the product sold does not belong to the plaintiff.
Counsel for plaintiff submitted that the said product is manufactured in Pakistan and does not comply with the legal requirements of the Legal Metrology Act, 2009 (hereinafter referred as “LMA”), the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011, and the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 (hereinafter referred as ‘FSSAI’) which governs such products.
The Court noted that a perusal of the physical products shows that the same is shown to be manufactured by ‘Hamdard Laboratory (Waqf), Karachi, Pakistan’. There are no other details of the manufacturer mentioned on the product apart from just the name of the manufacturer. No address, email address or telephone number of the manufacturer is available on the label of the product. The label on the bottle was produced by the Plaintiffs.
The Court remarked It is also not clear as to how these products are being imported from Pakistan when clearly the Plaintiffs have statutory rights in the marks in India.
The Court further noted that when one clicks on the link ‘visit the Hamdard Store’, which is provided next to the product listing of Defendant No.2, the consumer is taken to the webpage of ‘Hamdard Laboratories India’ on www.amazon.com, which is of the Plaintiffs. Thus, any consumer or user on the www.amazon.in platform is likely to confuse the ‘ROOH AFZA’ product originating from Hamdard Laboratories (Waqf), Pakistan as being connected or originating from the Plaintiffs.
Thus, until and unless the consumer actually receives the product, the consumer has no way of knowing as to whether the product being sold is that of the Plaintiffs or not. This can have an adverse impact on the consumers, inasmuch as the details of the sellers are not known. Since www.amazon.in claims to be an intermediary it has an obligation to disclose names of sellers, their contact details etc., on the product listings.
Thus, the Court was convinced that the Plaintiffs have made out a prima facie case for grant of an ad-interim injunction and gave directions regarding removal of the infringing links.
[Hamdard National Foundation (India) v. Amazon India Limited, 2022 SCC OnLine Del 2849, decided on 05-09-2022]
Advocates who appeared in this case :
Mr. Shivendra Pratap Singh, Mr. Sunil Mishra and Mr. Navdeep Suhag, Advocates, for the Plaintiff;
Mr. Sidharth Chopra, Ms. Sneha Jain and Mr. Vivek Ayyagari, Advocates, for the Defendant.
*Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has put this report together.