The Delhi High Cour granted an ex-parte interim injunction to restrain the unauthorized use of Sequoia Capital's registered trademarks, in an alleged fraudulent cryptocurrency trading operation.

The Court listed the matter for May 31, 2024, and mandated the deletion of WhatsApp and Telegram accounts that cheat people in this regard.

The Court observed that the Defendants exploited Sequoia Brand, causing confusion and harm to the firm's reputation.

The Bench of Justice Sanjeev Narula observed, “in view of the foregoing and the public interest involved in the matter, the Plaintiff has demonstrated a prima facie case in their favour and in case an ex-parte ad-interim injunction is not granted, Plaintiff will suffer an irreparable loss. Balance of convenience also lies in the favour of Plaintiff, and against Defendant No. 1”.

Advocate Shwetasree Majumder appeared for the Petitioner and Standing Counsel Nidhi Raman appeared for the Respondent.

The lawsuit, filed to permanently restrain the unauthorized use of Plaintiff’s registered trademarks, “SEQUOIA,” “SEQUOIA CAPITAL,” etc by Defendant No. 1. Defendant No. 1 was allegedly engaged in fraudulent cryptocurrency trading. The Plaintiff, a venture capital firm based in California, owns trademarks, established in 1972, and holds registrations in various countries, including India. The lawsuit alleged that Defendant No. 1 operated WhatsApp groups and websites, including "" and "," misleading investors using the Plaintiff's brand. The Plaintiff initiated legal action after discovering these activities, emphasizing potential customer confusion and damage to its business reputation.

The Court thoroughly examined the screenshots from the John Analyst Group-303 WhatsApp group, which revealed that Defendant No. 1 exploited Plaintiff's "SEQUOIA" trademarks to attract unsuspecting consumers. The group administrators, without authorization from the Plaintiff, misrepresented themselves by offering unauthorized financial advice. Users were directed to the website "," seemingly an illegitimate platform, intending to induce substantial investments. This misrepresentation negatively impacted the Plaintiff's market standing, with consumers initially drawn by the use of the "SEQUOIA" trademark.

Considering the gravity of the situation and public interest, the Bench held that the Plaintiff established a prima facie case. An ex-parte ad interim injunction was deemed necessary to prevent irreparable loss to the Plaintiff.

The Court issued specific directions, including restraining Defendant No. 1 from using Plaintiff's trademarks, directing removal/blocking of WhatsApp and Telegram accounts, suspending domain names, and issuing notifications to relevant authorities for blocking/deleting access to specified telephone numbers, websites, and domain names.

Accordingly, the Court listed the matter for May 31, 2024.

Cause Title: Sequoia Capital Operations LLC v John Doe And Others

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