In a case of fraud, the High Court of Delhi has recently cracked down on unidentified persons who solicited money deposits in the garb of job interviews for a position in Colgate Palmolive Company. In two orders dated 12 April and 15 May, 2019, the High Court of Delhi has ordered an ex parte ad interim injunction against unnamed defendants, after Colgate Palmolive filed a suit.

The Plaintiff, upon being informed by members of the general public, that unknown persons had created a fake domain ( and three  email IDs and also that, they were posing to be recruitment and HR employees from the Plaintiff’s company, filed the present suit. The unknown Defendants also allegedly solicited money deposits from prospective interviewees, by providing three bank accounts to transfer money to.

The Plaintiff argued that registering such a domain name amounted to infringement of its registered trademarks, as well as passing off. The Plaintiff submitted that it had been using the word Colgate for its oral care products since 1970 and has also obtained registration for several Colgate marks in many classes. Further it was submitted that the mark Colgate has become a well-known mark in India.

In light of this, an injunction was sought to restrain the defendants from infringing the Plaintiff’s trademarks, copyrights, as well as to injunct the Defendants from passing off. Further, it was sought to mandate the unnamed defendants to render accounts.

NIXI, the National Internet Exchange of India, which has created the IN Registry responsible for maintenance of the .in domain, was also added as a Defendant, and ordered on 12 April 2019 to block the infringing domain name, as well as to provide information to the Plaintiff regarding the owner of the domain, the IP address from which it was registered etc. However, on 15 May 2019, another order was passed as there appeared to be another fraudulent website that had been registered (, and NIXI was directed to block this as well. The concerned banks were also directed to freeze the accounts, of which details the Plaintiff had submitted to the Court, and to provide the Plaintiff with name and contact details of the account holder.

Other Interesting Precedents

Registering a domain name with no legitimate interest in it, or for fraudulent purposes is not new. In November 2018, the Delhi High Court had injuncted persons who had fraudulently used Snapdeal’s marks on their website to defraud potential customers. The Court also directed the Registrars of such fraudulently registered sites to suspend them, and directed  banks to freeze the respective accounts in which money was being received.  

In the past, we’ve covered what happens when a registered domain has illegal content, such as seditious or defamatory content. Since it is usually difficult to obtain information about the owners of infringing sites, more and more companies on finding that their names and trademarks are being used to perpetrate fraud, are approaching Courts directly. While the .in Dispute Resolution Policy exists to allow for arbitration between parties regarding registration of domain names in bad faith, in cases of domain name squatting where fraud is committed in the name of a genuine existing  company, seeking an immediate injunction seems to be more appropriate.

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