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MakeMyTrip – Trademark Saga

Popular travel service provider MakeMyTrip has been facing multiple issues related to its popular trademark “MakeMyTrip”.

In two separate matters filed before the Delhi High Court, MakeMyTrip (India) Private Limited (MMT) wins relief against the two Defendants against infringement of its registered trademark.

In the matter decided on February 2019, MMT filed a suit for injunction against M/s Make My Happy Journey (MMHJ) alleging infringement and passing off of its registered trademark. MMT alleges that the MMHJ, is operating a website “www.makemyhappyjourney.com” wherein MMHJ was offering online services of booking flight tickets (and tour bookings), hotel reservations, etc., which are services identical to that of MMT. MMT states that a perusal of MMHJ’s website shows that apart from using the word mark “MakeMyHappyJourney‟ which is deceptively similar to MMT’s “MakeMyTrip” word mark, MMHJ on its impugned website is also using an infringing logo which contains the infringing word mark “MakeMyHappyJourney”. MMT emphasizes that the “MY” formative element in the MMHJ’s infringing marks is written and stylized in an identical manner and this makes MMHJ’s dishonest intent apparent.  MMT further states that MMHJ’s substitution of the word “Trip” with the word “Happy” and “Journey” in the infringing word mark is not enough to distinguish MMT and MMHJ’s marks.

In the matter decided on March 2019, MMT filed a suit for injunction against Pravasi Guide Private Limited & Ors.(Pravasi) alleging infringement and passing off of its trademark.  MMT alleges that Pravasi are operating a website “www.makemypravaas.com” wherein they were offering online services of booking flight tickets (and tour bookings), hotel reservations, etc., which are services identical to services that MMT provides. MMT further alleges that apart from using the word mark “MakeMyPravaas” which is deceptively similar to MMT’s “MakeMyTrip‟ word mark, Pravasi on their impugned website are also using an infringing logo which contains the infringing word mark “MakeMyPravaas”. MMT submits that Pravasi’s mark “MakeMyPravaas” is phonetically, visually, structurally and conceptually similar to the MMT’s registered mark “MakeMyTrip” and further states that the infringing word mark, which constitutes a predominant feature of the infringing logo marks and the infringing domain name is phonetically, visually, structurally and otherwise deceptively and confusingly similar to MMT’s “MakeMyTrip” Word Mark and MakeMyTrip logo marks. MMT emphasizes that the “MY” formative element in the Pravasi’s infringing marks is stylized in an identical manner and is also contained in a box, which makes Pravasi’s dishonest intent apparent. MMT further states that Pravasi’s substitution of the word “Trip” with the word “Pravaas” in the infringing word mark is not enough to distinguish the MMT and Pravasi’s marks.

In both matters, MMT states that both the Pravasi and MMHJ failed to respond to cease and desist notices that were sent to them by MMT to respectively stop using all the infringing marks and domain names and it was the mala fide intention of both Pravasi and MMHJ to piggyback on the goodwill and reputation of MMT and it’s marks and cause confusion in the minds of the consumer that they were emanating from/related to MMT.

In both matters, HC relies on the decision of the Cordinate Bench on Satya CS (COMM) 7/2019 Infrastructure Ltd. and Ors. Vs. Satya Infra & Estates Pvt. Ltd., 2013 SCC OnLine Del 508HC and finds that MMT is the registered owner of the impugned trademarks and that the conduct of the defendants in both matters amounted to infringement under Section 29 of the Trade Marks Act, 1999 apart from constituting a violation of the statutory and common law rights of MMT.

HC dismisses the matter in favour of MMT and grants relief.

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