In the case of Whitehat Education Technology Private Limited V. Vinay Kumar Singh, the Delhi High Court has granted an interim injunction in favour of EdTech startup, WhitehatJr, and has refrained the Defendant, a provider of digital marketing consultancy service, from using the WHITEHAT SR marks in any manner, which may amount to infringement of the Plaintiff’s trademark, including as a domain name or part of an email.
The Plaintiff, Whitehat Education Technology Private Limited that offers internet-based education services, is the owner of the trademark WHITEHAT JR, its derivatives as well as the domain whitehatjr.com. In 2022, the Plaintiff was made aware of the Defendants using the trademark WHITEHAT SR, for digital marketing services. Apart from the trademark, the Defendant was also using the domain www.whitehatsr.in, and was operating various social media accounts using the trademark WHITEHAT SR.
The Plaintiff had filed the present suit seeking a permanent injunction on the grounds of trademark infringement and passing off. The Delhi High Court while passing an order in favour of the Plaintiff, conducted a comparative analysis of both the marks and concluded that the Defendant’s mark was deceptively similar to that of the Plaintiff. The Court also added that the replacement of the suffix “Jr” with “Sr” in the Defendant’s mark would not constitute a material difference between the two marks.
The court further held that the Defendant’s continued use of the mark would result in irreparable injury and harm to the goodwill and reputation of the Plaintiff. Therefore, the Delhi High Court restrained the Defendant from using the mark “WHITEHAT SR” or any deceptively similar variant and has directed the Defendant to take down social media pages that infringe upon the Plaintiff’s mark. Further, Godaddy.com LLC has been directed to take down and suspend access to the domain name www.whitehatsr.com.