Delhi HC grants interim relief to cryptocurrency co. MetalPay in passing off suit
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Delhi HC grants interim relief to cryptocurrency co. MetalPay in passing off suit

Aditya AK

The Delhi High Court earlier this month passed an interim injunction in favour of US-based cryptocurrency company Metallicus Inc, which owns the domain name metalpay.co.

The order was passed by Justice Yogesh Khanna in a suit for passing off filed by Metallicus after the defendants – an Indian company offering similar services – got their domain name metalpay.in registered in February 2018.

In 2016, Metallicus had developed a blockchain-based cryptocurrency called Metal, that incentivizes users to transfer and use digital currency. It acquired the domain name metalpay.co in July 2016 and metalpay.com in April 2017. The cryptocurrency got listed on the New Zealand Bitcoin exchange Cryptopia in September 2017.

In February 2018, the defendants were incorporated as AU Metalpay Pvt. Ltd. and began using the domain name metalpay.in.

In the suit filed by Metallicus, it is contended that the defendants also operate the website as well as the mobile application Metal Pay, which wholly incorporates the Plaintiff’s trademark METALPAY.

It was argued that the defendant offers services that are similar to the services provided by the plaintiff in that they both provide alternatives for investment to fiat currency, allow for digital storage of alternative currency in a virtual wallet, and allow users to buy and sell alternative currency via mobile applications. This, it is contended, will lead to confusion and deception in the minds of the consumers.

Further, given the overlap in the services of the two companies, and the similarity of the web addresses, an assumption of affiliation between the plaintiff and the defendants is a natural one in the minds of consumers, who will be led to transact business with the defendants assuming that their services bear the plaintiff’s hallmark of quality.

On the above basis, a suit for passing off was filed through Fidus Law Chambers. Managing Partner Shwetasree Majumder along with Tanya Varma and Pritika Kohli appeared for the plaintiff company.

Justice Khanna passed an ex-parte interim order restraining the defendants from using the plaintiff’s trademark METALPAY or any other mark deceptively similar thereto so as to result in the passing off of their services as those of Metallicus.

The matter will be next heard on September 18 this year.

Read the order:

Metalpay-order-July-9.pdf
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