On July 19, 2019, Delhi High Court granted permanent injunction against Lee Pharmaceuticals, restraining it from infringing the copyright of Mankind Pharma Ltd. The injunction was filed to restrain Lee Pharmaceuticals from using the content of its website.1
Background of the case
According to Mankind Pharma (Plaintiff), the company has various domain names registered in its name with the mark 'MANKIND', however, the main website of the Plaintiff is www.mankindpharma.com, as originally designed to promote its business has many unique features including information about images of products manufactured, and other details. The company Lee Pharma (Defendant) on the other hand was incorporated in 2013 and is headquartered in Chennai, has the registered website www.leepharmaceuticals.in. According to the plaintiff the content of the entire website including the photographs, images, etc. has been taken from plaintiff's website. As per the act of infringement of copyright a work is deemed to be infringed when any person, without a license granted by the owner of the copyright, does anything which is exclusive right to be conferred by the Act upon the owner of the copyright.2 The Court had granted an ad-interim injunction in the following terms:
"The defendants are accordingly restrained till the next date of hearing by ex-parte ad interim injunction from infringing the copyright of the plaintiff by posting and operating any website containing contents which resemble the contents of the plaintiffs website www.mankindpharma.com and/or its including the photographs and the web contents."3
As per the Delhi High Court orders, the defendant failed to appear at the court after repetitive submission of the summons and despite the injunction order, the defendant continued to use the content of the plaintiff's website. The plaintiff has presented various perusal of both defendants and plaintiff websites which proves that the website of the defendant is identical in terms of the content of the text, images, tabs and various features. This clearly indicates that the defendant has unabashedly copied the plaintiff's website and its contents despite not having any rights in the same whatsoever.
Accordingly, an affidavit-in-evidence by plaintiff and the content of the website of the defendant being identical, clearly makes it all ground of permanent injunction liable against the defendant. Restraining the defendant from infringing the copyright of the plaintiff in the contents of its website www.mankindpharma.com. Further, the defendant is also restrained from passing off its business as being affiliated to that of the plaintiff and shall not infringe the copyright of the plaintiff in the contents of its website.
1 Mankind Pharma Limited vs. Lee Pharmaceuticals of Lee House (12.07.2019 - DELHC) : MANU/DE/2223/2019
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