Meta Directed to Remove Videos Infringing Patanjali’s Trademark from its Platforms

In a trademark infringement case[1], the Bombay High Court directed defendant no.1, Meta Platforms Inc to remove videos from its online platforms, Facebook and Whatsapp containing disparaging remarks against the product of the plaintiff (Patanjali Foods Limited) called Mahakosh Future Fit Refined Soyabean Oil. The court also issued a John Doe order restraining anonymous parties from infringing upon the plaintiff’s trademark.

After the plaintiff came to know about certain defamatory videos about its product doing the rounds on said platforms, cease and desist notices along with an email were sent to Meta. Since Meta failed to revert to the same, Patanjali filed the present suit before the Bombay High Court. To refrain anonymous persons from infringing its trademark, the plaintiff also added “Ashok Kumar” as defendant no.3 seeking an injunction in the form of a John Doe order.

It is contended that the impugned videos infringe upon the plaintiff’s registered trademark, “MAHAKOSH” and also spreads “misleading and false information” about its product bearing the said trademark. In support of its contentions, the plaintiff relied on Section 29(8)(a) and (c) of the Trade Marks Act, 1999 which lays down that the advertising of a registered trade mark amounts to infringement if it takes unfair advantage of and is contrary to honest practices in industrial or commercial matters or if such advertising is against the reputation of the trade mark. The urgency of the matter was stressed upon considering that the continued circulation of the impugned videos would be detrimental to the trademark’s reputation.

Accepting the plaintiff’s submissions, the court held that the balance of convenience is in its favour and issued an order dated May 4, 2023, restraining Meta and anonymous persons from infringing the plaintiff’s trademark and circulating the impugned videos.

The court will hear the matter next on June 27, 2023.

[1] Patanjali Foods Limited vs. Meta Platforms Inc & Ors. (IA No.12496 of 2023 in COMIP No.12374 of 2023)