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Facebook vs Facebake: Social media giant gets restraining order against Bengaluru cake shop from Delhi HC

The court also awarded nominal damages of Rs 50,000 in favour of Meta and asked the shop owner to pay the cost of the suit to the social media giant.

Meta Platforms in 2020 had filed the suit against Noufel Malol, the owner of ‘Facebake’, for a permanent injunction to restrain him from using the mark ‘Facebake’, the website ‘www.facebake.in’ and related email ids. (Image: Reuters, representational)

In an order on a suit filed by Meta Platforms, which owns Facebook, the Delhi High Court has permanently restrained the owner of a Bangalore-based cake shop from using the name ‘Facebake’ or ‘Facecake’ or any other Facebook trademarks for its products and services.

Justice Navin Chawla also said the shop owner will deliver all finished and unfinished materials, including locks, signage, cards, stationary, accessories, packaging, labels and other material bearing the ‘Facebake’ marks or any mark deceptively similar to Facebook, to Meta for the purpose of erasure or destruction.

The court also awarded nominal damages of Rs 50,000 in favour of Meta and asked the shop owner to pay the cost of the suit to the social media giant. It said that though there is some distinction between the marks of the Meta and the defendant, the overall visual representation adopted by the defendant clearly depicts “the mala fide intent” in obtaining unfair advantage by the use of marks similar to that of Meta.

“It can lead to an unwary consumer being at least interested in taking note of the defendants as having some kind of connection with the plaintiff. The mala fide intent of the defendants is also evident from the fact that upon the knowledge of the ad-interim injunction passed by this Court, the defendants changed the mark from ‘Facebake’ to ‘Facecake’ thereby changing only one alphabet, however, chose not to appear before this Court to defend the suit in spite of service,” reads the order.

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Meta Platforms in 2020 had filed the suit against Noufel Malol, the owner of ‘Facebake’, for a permanent injunction to restrain him from using the mark ‘Facebake’, the website ‘www.facebake.in’ and related email ids. The court, in November 2020, passed an interim order in favour of Meta and confirmed the order in January 2021, since no one appeared on behalf of the defendants. Meta through an application later apprised the court that Malol has incorporated a company by the name of ‘Ehrlich Foods and Beverages Pvt Ltd’ which has preferred a trademark application for registration of a deceptively-similar mark ‘Facecake’. Since no one appeared for Malol or the company, the court proceeded ex-parte in the case.

First published on: 11-07-2022 at 20:33 IST
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