The Delhi High Court recently restrained the website www.haute24.com from copying, publishing and issuing to the public photographs infringing the copyright in them owned by the French high-end luxury fashion brand, Louis Vuitton Malletier (“LV”). LV claimed that it hires world-renowned photographers and high-end fashion models on contract to advertise its products displayed for sale on its website. Since such photographs were taken by people commissioned by LV and used by LV to advertise its products, LV claimed that it is the owner of the copyright in all such photographs that qualify as “artistic works” under Indian copyright law.
In January and November 2022, LV came across unauthorized use of its copyrighted photographs by the defendants on the website www.haute24.com. Neither did the Defendants have a commercial relationship with LV, nor was there any authorisation from LV to use or publish the impugned photographs. As per LV, such unauthorized use of photographs by the defendants amounted to copyright infringement.
The Delhi High Court, on being satisfied that LV had made out a prima facie case with the balance of convenience in its favour, passed an ex-parte ad interim order injuncting the website www.haute24.com from copying, issuing to the public or publishing the infringing photographs. It also directed the Domain Name Registrar of HAUTE24.COM to block access to the said website and provide relevant details of the registrant so that he/she could be impleaded in the proceeding.
Louis Vuitton Malletier v. www.Haute24.com& Ors, CS (COMM) 874/2022 Order dated December 16, 2022