Safe Harbour principle not applicable to e-commerce websites as a defence from IP infringement cases: DHC

The Delhi High Court (DHC), while dealing with a suit for permanent injunction filed by Puma SE (Puma) against Indiamart Intermesh Ltd. (IndiaMart) from allowing third-party sellers to sell counterfeit Puma goods on IndiaMart’s website, has held that by allowing prospective sellers to select trademarks of Puma while registering themselves on IndiaMart’s websites, without any verification, IndiaMart “…aided commission of the unlawful act of counterfeiting…” and thus, IndiaMart cannot claim the benefit of “safe harbour principle” given under section 79 of the Information Technology Act, 2000. The DHC further restrained IndiaMart from providing any of the registered trademarks of Puma to prospective sellers while applying for registration in IndiaMart’s website.