13 February 2018

Commercial Transaction must for Court’s jurisdiction in passing off

For the purpose of invoking jurisdiction of a court in a passing off action, the plaintiff is required to plead and establish that there has been a Commercial Transaction within the jurisdiction of that Court which amounts to passing-off.

The Delhi High has held that mere fact that plaintiff received queries for advertisement is not sufficient to attract jurisdiction of the court. Commercial transaction was held necessary to show that defendant specifically targeted persons within the court’s jurisdiction.

The plaintiff had invoked the jurisdiction of the Court on the basis of two assertions. First, that the newspaper is published on a page on www.facebook.com, which is an interactive site in as much as users can place their comments on the facebook page, and second, that the plaintiff received queries from one company expressing its intention to advertise in the newspaper published by the defendants.

The Court in News Nation Networks Pvt. Ltd. v. News Nation Gujarat was of the view that maintenance of the facebook page on a social media site can at best be representative of the defendants issuing an advertisement of their product. Receipt of queries for advertisement was also found insufficient to attract the jurisdiction of the Court.


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