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Google Cannot Absolve Itself From Liability Of Ensuring That Keyword Is Not An Infringement Of Trademark: Delhi High Court

[03 November 2021]
The Delhi High Court has observed that Google cannot absolve itself from the liability of ensuring that a keyword is not an infringement of trademark. Justice V Kameswar Rao also observed that allowing individuals who are not owners of a trademark to choose a keyword which is a trademarked term or use parts of the trademark interspersed with generic words in the Ad-title or Ad-text may constitute an infringement of a trademark or it’s passing off. The Court also opined that the use of trademarks as keywords amounts to “use” in the course of trade in terms of the Trademarks Act. The Court was dealing with an application seeking ad interim ex parte injunction filed against Google India, Google LLC and Just Dial by the plaintiffs thereby restraining them from using or permitting third parties to use plaintiffs’ registered trademark AGARWAL PACKERS & MOVES or DRS LOGISTICS either as a keyword or as a meta tag or as a trademark. It also sought a direction against the defendants to allow inspection of their accounts in order to assist in ascertaining damages.

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