The Delhi High Court has permanently restrained an Ahmedabad-based salon from using the Hair Masters trademark after the luxury hair and wellness salon filed a trademark infringement suit.
A single-judge bench of Justice Hari Shankar, in a February 20 decision, made final an interim injunction granted by the high court in May 2022 barring the accused salon, The Hair Master’s Hair & Beauty Lounge, from using the scissors logo, on the web – the page. and The Hair Masters trademark.
The High Court on 10 May 2022 granted an interim order restraining defendants 1-5 – “The Hair Master’s Hair & Beauty Lounge and its partners” – from using the trademark “Hair Masters” holding that the two marks were “identical in nature” , and the defendants provided “identical character of the services”, until the next hearing date (from time to time the operation of the order continues). The High Court also restrained the defendants from using the scissors logo and the domain name http://www.thehairmasters.in, directing the domain registrar GoDaddy to block the said domain name within 72 hours of receiving of the order and to maintain the status quo in respect thereof.
The plaintiff salon had earlier claimed before the high court that it has more than 25 salons operating in seven states and its salons located in Chandigarh and Bandra in Mumbai are regularly frequented by various Bollywood celebrities like Madhuri Dixit, Yami Gautam, Kangana Ranaut, Ayushmann Khurrana. Arjun Rampal, Rakhi Sawant, Gulshan Grover and Vaani Kapoor.
The plaintiff’s salon then claimed that upon investigation they discovered that the defendant salon’s trademark was only registered on September 11, 2019, and they had been using the trademark since October 17, 2017. The plaintiff salon had registered its trademark in 2014 claiming to be its beneficiary since April 1, 2014, it was observed. The High Court said that the plaintiff had “made out a prima facie case in his favour” and that the balance of convenience was also in his favour. The court ruled that if the temporary measure is not granted, “irreparable injury will be caused to the plaintiff”.
During the hearing on February 20, in compliance with the earlier order of the court, GoDaddy said that it has suspended the operation of the said domain http://www.thehairmasters.in. It was submitted that GoDaddy’s authority only extends to domain name suspension and blocking and that full domain name blocking can only be done by Internet Service Providers.
At this point, the plaintiff’s salon sought an order directing GoDaddy to transfer its domain name to itself to prevent misuse, which GoDaddy did not oppose and was therefore ordered by the court.
The High Court also observed that despite the notice, there was no appearance on behalf of the respondent salon and its partners, nor did they file a reply to the trademark infringement suit. The plaintiff requested that the order in the suit be made final and that a decree of permanent injunction be granted to them.
“Since there is no contestation of the claims in the lawsuit, and considering the facts of the case, a clear case of violation of the plaintiff’s registered trademarks by the defendant in terms of Article 29(2)(b) of the Law on Trademarks has been made , the plaintiff is entitled to grant the prayers in the suit… The suit is decreed in the above terms,” Justice Shankar said.
The court also allowed the plaintiff salon to “file a certificate of expenditure incurred before the concerned Revenue Officer/Joint Registrar who will hear the plaintiff… to ascertain the actual expenditure incurred and award the same. It is clarified that only defendants 1 to 5 (the defendant salon and its partners) would pay the costs.”