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Plaintiff Is Not Required To Lead Evidence In Ex-Parte Matters

In the fast-paced digital age, the internet has provided countless opportunities for individuals and businesses to connect and share information globally. Unfortunately, this unrestricted access has also led to the rise of numerous illegal activities, including the infringement of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR).

These violations often occur through anonymous and rogue websites, making it challenging for right holders to identify and take legal action against the perpetrators. However, a recent landmark judgment delivered by the court brought hope to countless right holders whose IPR had been infringed by unknown persons using various websites.

The court's decision not only protected their rights but also set a precedent for future cases involving John Doe defendants.

The Fact:
The case at hand involved several unknown individuals who were engaged in activities that violated the Intellectual Property Rights of the Plaintiffs.

The identities of these wrongdoers remained hidden, making it difficult for the Plaintiffs to serve proper legal notice and initiate legal proceedings against them.

To overcome this obstacle, the Plaintiffs identified the unknown defendants collectively as "John Doe" and approached the court seeking redress for the infringement of their IPR through various websites.

The Ex Parte Order Of Injunction:

Recognizing the urgency and potential harm caused by the infringing activities, the court granted an ex parte injunction at the initial stages of the case. Ex parte means that the court issued the injunction without hearing the arguments of the defendants, as their identities were still unknown or they failed to appear in court. The court's decision to grant an ex parte injunction was based on the principle that swift action was necessary to prevent further damage to the Plaintiffs' IPR. This step was crucial in restraining the defendants from continuing their unlawful activities.

The Defendants Were Proceeded Ex Parte:

Since the Defendants did not appear, they were proceeded ex parte. Accordingly a decree of Permanent Injunction was granted against Defendants which were arrayed as John Doe as they were running impugned websites under hidden identity.

No Evidence Is Required To Be Lead In Ex Parte Matters:

In its judgment, the court explicitly clarified that in ex parte matters, nol evidence from the Plaintiff was required to be presented to support their claims. The rationale behind this decision was to prevent further delays and to deter future wrongdoers from taking advantage of the ex parte process. The court held that when the identities of the defendants were concealed or they failed to participate in the proceedings, it would be unfair to burden the right holders with evidence requirements.

The Concluding Note:
By allowing ex parte proceedings and eschewing the need for evidence in such cases, the court acknowledges the urgency and gravity of the situation. This approach empowers right holders to seek immediate relief and protects their interests without being hindered by the anonymity of the perpetrators. Swift action is crucial in preventing further damage and preserving the integrity of the intellectual property.

The judgment in this case represents a critical milestone in the legal battle against intellectual property infringement by unknown entities operating through rogue websites. By allowing Plaintiffs to proceed ex parte and granting a decree of Permanent Injunction against John Doe defendants, the court has demonstrated its commitment to protect the rights of IPR owners.

The Case Law Discussed:
Case Title: Allied Blenders and Distillers Pvt. Ltd. Vs Ashok Kumar Conducting Activities through Webpage
Date of Judgment: 13.07.2023
Case No: CS Comm 103 of 2022
Neutral Citation No: 2023:DHC:4877
Name of Hon'ble Court: Hon'ble High Court of Delhi
Name of Hon'ble Judge: Prathiba M Singh.

Information contained herein is being shared in the public Interest. The same should not be treated as substitute for legal advice as it is subject to my subjectivity and may contain human errors in perception, interpretation and presentation of the facts and law involved herein.

Written By: Advocate Ajay Amitabh Suman
, IP Adjutor - Patent and Trademark Attorney
Email: [email protected], Ph no: 9990389539

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