Delhi High Court Cracks Down On Fake 'Burger King' Websites, Issues Stringent Measures To Protect Brand And Franchise Seekers
The Delhi High Court has taken strong measures to combat fraudulent websites impersonating ‘Burger King’ and deceiving individuals seeking franchise licenses. This legal action was taken as part of the suit filed by Burger King Corporation to protect its marks, including 'Burger King’ and also the Crescent Logo Design and Hamburger Refresh Design Logo.
Advocate Mukul Kochhar appeared for the Plaintiff and Advocate Hetu Arora Sethi appeared for the Defendants.
A Bench of Justice Prathiba M. Singh issued the following directives:
- 'The National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI) has been instructed not to allow any website registrations containing 'Burger king' with domain extensions such as '.co.in' or '.in'.
- The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) are required to issue blocking orders for the mentioned domain names and websites, which must be implemented by all Internet Service Providers (ISPs).
- The Court emphasized the necessity of taking stringent action against the misuse of domain names. Previously, the High Court had issued an interim injunction order against certain fake websites using the 'Burger King' mark without authorization. The Court extended this injunction order to cover two additional domain names and ordered their immediate suspension.
- The Delhi Police has been directed to investigate the matter since fake websites were fraudulently collecting money under the Burger King name, exploiting its brand and trademarks.
- An unsuspecting individual who intended to secure a Burger King franchise paid Rs. 2,65,000 to a bank account associated with one of these fake websites. The Court recognized the urgency of stopping further funds from being received in these fraudulent bank accounts and directed the Bank of Maharashtra to freeze the account. Additionally, the bank was instructed to investigate how an account in the name of 'Burger King India Pvt Ltd' was opened without proper verification of credentials.
- The Bank of Maharashtra was ordered to disclose the identity of the account holder, provide KYC (Know Your Customer) details, and any other relevant documents it may possess.
- GoDaddy.com was ordered to promptly block a fraudulent website operating under the name 'www.burgerkingind.co.in.'
The case is scheduled to be listed on September 27, 2023 for next hearing.
Cause Title: Burger King Corporation v. Swapnil Patil & Ors., [2023:DHC:6732]