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CITATIONDabur India Ltd. v. Ashok Kumar, 2022 SCC OnLine Del 1784
DATE OF JUDGEMENT 24th November 2023
COURT Delhi High Court
APPELEANT Dabur India Limited And Ors.
RESPONDENTAshok Kumar And Ors.
BENCHPrathiba M. Singh, J.


In the case of Dabur India Limited and Ors. vs. Ashok Kumar and Ors., the Delhi High Court intervened to address the issue of phishing websites misusing the Dabur India brand name. The defendants, Ashok Kumar and others, were allegedly involved in operating these illicit websites, which impersonated Dabur India and aimed to deceive unsuspecting consumers. To safeguard Dabur India’s reputation and protect consumers from falling victim to online scams, the Delhi High Court took decisive action. It issued a John Doe order directing the blocking of specific domain names associated with these phishing websites and the removal of related content from the internet. This proactive measure underscored the court’s commitment to combatting cyber fraud and ensuring the integrity of reputable brands like Dabur India Limited.


  1. Numerous trademark and brand proprietors have initiated legal proceedings in this Court. They are seeking remedies against the unauthorized appropriation of their marks, names, or brands by individuals who register such marks as components of their domain names.
  2. The mentioned domain names are occasionally inactive, yet in numerous instances, they are actively utilized to host websites. Among these instances, some involve straightforward misuse of the domain name, with the registrant’s intention being to gain financial advantage.
  3. Some others intend to gain monetarily from the trademark owner’s goodwill by selling their products using such domain names, bearing the Plaintiff’s mark.
  4. In other instances, the perpetrators have taken further steps by falsely offering distributorships, franchises, dealerships, and similar opportunities. They have fraudulently collected substantial sums of money from unsuspecting customers.
  5. Initially, in each of these suits, the domain names are identified. However, the process of registration of infringing domain names has become successive and continuous.
  6. The increase in such domain names is a result of the wide variety of country code top-level domains (ccTLDs), generic top-level domains (gTLDs), international country code top-level domains (IDNccTLDs), and international generic top-level domains (IDNgTLDs). These domains offer numerous extensions that can be registered, contributing to their proliferation.
  7. The domain names can also be altered through minor modifications, such as adjusting alphanumeric features or adding one or two characters, letters, or numbers. These cases encompass a range of well-known brands and trusted trademarks, where consumers repose their confidence.


  1.  Whether both the beneficiary account number and the account holder’s name have to match while receiving payments or deposits, into a particular accounts concerned?
  2. Whether grievance officers had been appointed by the DNRs and in case of no information regarding the same, MEITY was to take steps in accordance with law?
  3. Whether the identity of the owner of a domain name, which consists of a registered trademark or a known brand can be verified at the time of registration itself?


  1. The Plaintiff argues that they haven’t received the registrant details for two domain names, www.himalayapharmacy.in and www.himalayawelness.in. However, Mr. Khan, the counsel representing GoDaddy, asserts that these two domain names are not registered by GoDaddy at all. This fact has already been mentioned in paragraph 53(c) of the complaint.
  2. The Plaintiff’s counsel seeks the information from the Domain Name Registrars (DNRs), including GoDaddy and other Registrars. Once the registrants’ details for these domain names are furnished to the Plaintiff’s counsel, they will be passed on to Ms. Sethi and Mr. Lamba for further examination. Additionally, all banks concerned are directed to freeze and block the bank accounts linked to the aforementioned three domain names.
  3. The Domain Name Registrars (DNRs) will also notify the Plaintiff if the mentioned domain names have utilized any additional services provided by the DNRs, such as cloud server, website development, and hosting services. If such services have been utilized, the details used for payment, including credit card information, bank account details, and the IP addresses of the individuals who registered the domain names for these services, will be provided to the Plaintiff’s counsel. Subsequently, the Plaintiff’s counsel will forward these collected details to Ms. Sethi and Mr. Lamba for further review.


  1. He asserts that injunction orders are currently in effect for these domain names. Therefore, Defendant No. 2 is requested to directly disclose to the Plaintiff various details of these registrants. This disclosure will facilitate the Plaintiff in impleading them as parties. The list has been handed over to Mr. Darpan Wadhwa.
  2. Regarding this matter, Mr. Wadhwa, the learned Senior Counsel, argues that the orders do not specifically mandate GoDaddy to disclose registrant details for the contested domain names provided in the Plaintiffs’ subsequent affidavit. He contends that the directives concerning these domain names were solely focused on their suspension. These assertions are clearly documented in the orders dated July 18, 2022. Furthermore, GoDaddy was instructed to submit an affidavit, which has yet to be filed despite nearly eight weeks having elapsed.
  3. Nevertheless, the Plaintiffs’ counsel asserts that GoDaddy has taken no action to date. In fact, the Plaintiffs have filed a contempt petition in the same case.


The Court highlighted the reputed status of the trademark ‘DABUR’ as a well-known mark with strong goodwill. Consequently, it deemed the deceptive use of the ‘DABUR’ word in the mentioned domain names and website hosting as prohibited. It recognized that these websites breach upon the Plaintiff’s legal rights by unlawfully appropriating the ‘DABUR’ mark, as well as the company’s trade dress, labels, logos, and product packaging. The Court stressed that this infringement went beyond mere violation and passing off, constituting a blatant attempt at complete impersonation of the Plaintiff.

Additionally, it acknowledged the deceptive nature of these domain names and websites, which misled and defrauded the general public, resulting in significant losses. To prevent further harm to the public and protect the rights of Dabur India, the Court ordered registry services to block these domain names. Furthermore, it directed the Department of Telecom and the Ministry of Electronics and IT to issue instructions to internet service providers (ISPs) for the blocking of these websites. The Court expressed concerns about the increasing prevalence of domain name scams, particularly those concealed behind the disclosed identities of purchasers.


Dabur’s circumstance is indeed unique owing to its vast reservoir of goodwill, which bolsters the arguments concerning irreparable harm necessary for obtaining an injunction. This immense reputation of Dabur amplifies the severity of any potential damage caused by unauthorized use of its trademark or brand name, making it easier to demonstrate the urgent need for legal intervention. However, beyond the immediate implications for Dabur, there’s a broader significance to consider. Establishing a precedent in cases of domain name cybersquatting holds paramount importance in our contemporary digital landscape. With the rapid expansion of online commerce and communication, the integrity of trademarks and brands in the virtual sphere becomes increasingly crucial. A clear legal framework and precedents in this area provide guidance and protection not only for renowned corporations like Dabur but also for smaller businesses and individuals who may find themselves victims of similar deceptive practices. Therefore, while Dabur’s case may highlight the urgency for immediate action, its broader implications underscore the necessity of setting clear legal precedents to safeguard the integrity of online identities and protect against digital deception in our interconnected world.


  1. https://indiankanoon.org/doc/43243420/ 
  3. https://www.casemine.com/judgement/in/6242a1a19fca1931d588e3ee 

Written by Ruchi Bhatnagar an intern under legal vidhiya.

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