Author: Basudev Bhaktiranjan Behera, Student at National Law University, Odisha
Internet use has skyrocketed in the last decade, giving consumers more control over web page development and the creation of individual profiles for social networking. As the Internet has grown and evolved, it has also become a hazardous place where people steal domain names and benefit from the harm they cause to brands. For example, if an Internet user types “Citybank.org” instead of “Citibank.org” into his browser to do online banking, he will be sent to a website with deceptive Citibank advertisements that will divert him to rivals’ websites. The anger generated by being referred to the incorrect webpage would be focused in part towards Citibank and its goodwill. Such detours, like in the Citigroup example, are not by chance; rather, they are frauds designed to divert Internet users to rivals’ sites so that domain name owners benefit from the user’s error.
The growth of social media, on the other hand, has created a whole new set of IP difficulties. One of the most significant concerns is the enforcement of intellectual property rules in the otherwise borderless realm of online. The Trademarks Act of 1999 has a restricted geographical scope and does not extend outside of India. As a result, the many aspects of online and offline infringement must be thoroughly examined.
In the offline world, legal notice, opposition/cancellation, and infringement/passing off proceedings in a court of law are standard tactics used to address infringement. Section 28 of the Trademark Act grants the registered holder of a trademark exclusive rights to use it in connection with the products or services for which it is registered, as well as to seek redress for trademark infringement.
Social media has evolved into a valuable tool for connecting with others and promoting one’s business ideas. On a computer, tablet, or smartphone, items or services are only a few clicks away. Social media has drastically altered the way we communicate and share information. In today’s digital environment, information is publicly available, making us more vulnerable to IP theft.