MUMBAI: Bitcoin may be well-known today, but there are many more sorts of cryptocurrencies. Have you ever heard of a cryptocurrency called ‘Tata coin’ or ‘$Tata’?
Tata Sons, the Tata Group’s holding company, was unsuccessful in its attempt to obtain a permanent injunction from the Delhi High Court.
Hakunamatata Tata Founders and others were ordered by the high court not to use the trademark ‘Tata’ as part of the name under which the cryptocurrency was made available to the public, or as part of their corporate or domain name.
In June and May of 2021, the domain names tatabonus.com and hakunamatata.finance were registered, allowing for the buying and trade of the ‘Tata’ cryptocurrency. Tata Sons was unable to prevail because it was unable to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the court that the foreign parties (defendants) intended to target India as a market.
The defendants in Tata Sons’ complaint, which was filed in the Delhi high court, were firms domiciled in the United States and the United Kingdom that had no presence in India. They were located outside of India’s sovereign borders, and hence were not subject to the Trade Marks Act of 1999 or the Code of Civil Procedure of 1908. In light of this, Tata Sons’ “intention to target India as a consumer base was of fundamental importance” in making its argument.
“The simple fact that the defendants’ cryptocurrency can be purchased by customers in India and that, as a result, the plaintiff’s brand value may be eroded, even when seen cumulatively, is enough to make the plaintiff’s case. “I cannot see how this court can interfere with the defendants’ operations or with their brand or mark,” Justice C Hari Shankar said.
A consumer from anywhere in the globe could apparently purchase the defendants’ cryptocurrency using the QR Code and the procedures described on the defendants’ website. As a result, this factor cannot prove that the defendants intentionally targeted the Indian consumer base. Neither the websites nor the social media accounts show any purpose to target customers within the jurisdiction of the high court. “If they target customers at all,” the court remarked, “they target customers all over the world.” Tata Sons did not respond to an email request for comment on the matter. According to TOI, Tata Sons is considering taking the matter to a UK court.