• Nikita

The goodwill of a business depends upon the reputation it creates over a period of time. When consumers decide between companies that provide comparable goods and prices, it is the goodwill of a company which sets it apart from the competitors. Therefore, goodwill is an important aspect of a business, which if compromised, can be a huge threat to the brand.
In Western Digital Technologies, Inc. v. Sumit Pandey and others (CS(COMM) 240/2021) (hereinafter referred to as ‘the case’) Western Digital Technologies (hereinafter referred to as “Western Digital”) is a manufacturer of computer storage devices, media players, software and mobile applications, which are sold under its registered trademarks. Along with registered trademarks, it also owns domain names similar to its company name “Western Digital”. Western Digital’s marks were in use since the year 1997. The logo is its corporate logo and is present on all its products.
In 2021, Sumit Pandey, (hereinafter referred to as “Pandey”) was found to be impersonating as Western Digital and charging money for providing customer service for Western Digital’s own registered products. It was found that Pandey was using the domain name: www.wd-my-passport.com, which was similar to the trademark “My Passport”and “WD” of Western Digital. Therefore, the present suit was filed before the Hon’ ble Delhi High Court by Western Digital seeking a permanent injunction to restrain Pandey.
The Hon’ ble Delhi High Court after considering all the submissions in the matter, ruled in favour of Western Digital and granted a permanent injunction in 7 months thereby restraining the impersonator from carrying out the impugned activities.
The ruling in the aforementioned case focuses on the aspect of goodwill of a business and how impersonating the name or infringing the registered trade mark of a company, may affect its goodwill in the market. It is important to understand that a registered mark cannot be used by any other entity or person without the permission of the registered proprietor. Such impersonation can not only cause financial losses, but would also cost the entity its goodwill and reputation in the market. In the abovementioned case, registration and prior usage of Western Digital’s trademarks proved to be a determining factor in its favour.


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