The John Doe Order is one such remedy available for matters wherein the violators are unknown to the complainant. We have, in the recent past, discussed this remedy in detail in our previous article. A similar order was also passed as an interim relief by the Delhi High Court in the matter of Dabur India Limited ("Dabur") vs. Ashok Kumar & Ors. ("Defendants") on 3rd March 2022.
Dabur has been a well-known trademark in India and has been a household name since 1884. Dabur has been functioning in a large variety of products such as pharmaceuticals, toiletries, food products, etc. for over 150 years.
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A trademark infringement suit was filed by Dabur against various parties for using its mark on the grounds of passing off and unfair competition. Various domains and websites for instance,,, etc. were seen to be functioning and inviting people to register in order to be appointed as authorized dealers of Dabur products for an amount of Rs. 25000/-. Dabur, taking into account the above situation, requested the Delhi High Court to grant a permanent injunction against such unauthorized use and also requested that the Internet Service Providers (“ISP”) be ordered to block the phishing websites.
The abovementioned websites contained terms such as ©2021 Dabur Distributor and ©2020 Dabur Distributor, post which the viewer would be redirected to the website of Dabur. The situation could be seen as an attempt to impersonate Dabur and take advantage of their long-lasting goodwill. Such redirections hint towards the malafide intentions of the unidentified defendants to deceive the viewers. Such unsolicited acts call for an immediate interim injunction, to prevent any further damage to the rightful owners of the mark.
Hence the Court passed an interim order in favour of Dabur and directed blocking of the alleged websites and a complete disclosure of the details of the defendants involved in the matter.
The case becomes important from the point of view of the increasing challenges that the IP owners have been facing with the advancement of science and technology in the era of the internet. Such situations must be taken care of at the earliest possible occasion to avoid any irreparable loss that may be caused to the IP owners. In order to draw the conclusion of blocking websites, reference was also made to the matter of UTV Software Communication Ltd and Ors v. 1337X and Ors wherein the Court emphasized on the need for a policy framework to combat such instances.
Another important aspect upon which, the case throws light is that, the blanket privacy protection to the website owners often lead to infringement matters. The Delhi High Court in the present was of the opinion that such protections must be disabled in situations such as the present one, so that the identity of the infringing parties can be obtained by visiting and other databases. The matter is now listed for hearing on 25th April 2022.


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