HT Media and Hindustan Media Venture c. Brainlink International on hindustan.com: the chess game is underway
HT Media, Ltd. and Hindustan Media Venture Ltd. are owners of “HINDUSTAN” trademarks, which designates one of the most popular Indian daily newspapers, with more than 50 million prints. These two companies expect to obtain the transfer of the domain name hindustan.com, owned by the American company Brainlink International, Inc.
On December 24, 2019, they sent a formal cease-and-desist letter to the latter, considering that Brainlink International was infringing their trademark rights. HT Media and Hindustan Media Venture base their rights exclusively on Indian trademarks. They concluded by requiring that the domain name be transferred to them within seven days.
On February 14, 2020, the American company allegedly offered Indian companies to transfer the disputed domain name to them for $ 3 million.
The negotiations failed, and, on March 9, 2020, it was Brainlink International which brought HT Media and Hindustan Media Venture before a New York court intending to obtain a declaratory judgment aiming to assert its rights on the domain name (Brainlink International, Inc. v. HT Media Ltd. & Anr. (Civil Action No.1 20-cv-01279, US District Court for the EDNY).
However, HT Media and Hindustan Media Venture had an additional coup: the anti-suit injunction. They applied to the High Court of Delhi for an order to prohibit Brainlink International from continuing the legal action before the New York court.
On April 28, 2020, the High Court of Delhi enjoined Brainlink International, on the one hand, to cease all direct or indirect use of the mark “HINDUSTAN” and, on the other hand, to withdraw its action in the United States.
HT Media, Ltd. & ANR. v. BRAINLINK INTERNATIONAL, INC. & ANR, CS
(COMM) 119/2020 and IAs 3767-3771/2020).