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Sporta Technologies Pvt. Ltd.v/s Unfading OPC Private Limited

The case involves a dispute between Sporta Technologies Pvt. Ltd. and Unfading OPC Private Limited over trademark infringement. Sporta Technologies, a well-known fantasy sports platform, claimed that Unfading was using the domain name and a similar logo, offering sports betting services that infringed upon Sporta Technologies' trademark "Dream11." Sporta Technologies obtained an ex parte ad-interim injunction from the court, and despite several attempts, Unfading did not appear in court.

Court: High Court of Delhi
Jurisdiction: New Delhi
Date of Decision: July 7, 2023

Procedural History:
Sporta Technologies obtained an ex parte ad-interim injunction on April 1, 2022. The court ordered LLC to suspend access to the domain name Unfading was served through email and speed post but did not file a written statement. Consequently, the court proceeded against Unfading ex parte. The court made the interim injunction absolute and decreed the suit in favor of Sporta Technologies.

Issues Presented:
  • Whether Unfading's use of the domain name and logo constituted trademark infringement.
  • Whether the ex parte ad-interim injunction should be made absolute.
Rules of Law:
  • The use of identical or similar domain names and logos may result in trademark infringement and passing off.
  • In the absence of a filed written statement, the court may proceed ex parte and make the interim injunction absolute.
Analysis and Reasoning:
The court analyzed the evidence provided by Sporta Technologies, including the similarities between the domain names and logos used by Unfading and Sporta Technologies' trademarks. The court observed that the marks "Dream11" and "sattadream11" were similar and likely to cause confusion among customers, especially on the internet. The court referred to previous orders of protection granted to Sporta Technologies in similar cases and found the infringement and passing off allegations to be substantiated.

Holding and Decision:
The court proceeded ex parte against Unfading, as it failed to appear despite being served. The court made the ex parte ad-interim injunction absolute, decreeing a permanent injunction restraining Unfading from using the mark "Satta Dream 11" or any deceptively similar variant. The court directed LLC to transfer the domain name to Sporta Technologies.

Implications and Significance:
The court's decision reaffirms the protection of trademarks and the prevention of passing off in cases involving similar domain names and logos. It emphasizes the importance of defending intellectual property rights and the consequences of non-compliance with court procedures.

The High Court of Delhi decreed the suit in favor of Sporta Technologies and made the ex parte ad-interim injunction absolute. The court granted a permanent injunction against Unfading and directed the transfer of the domain name to Sporta Technologies. The decision highlights the court's commitment to protecting trademarks and preventing passing off in the digital realm.

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