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Delhi HC Directs Google to Suspend Fraudulent Google Form URLs Promising Info On Starbucks Franchises

The order is part of an ongoing case filed by Starbucks against the National Internet Exchange of India for registering trademark-infringing websites.

Earlier this week, the Delhi High Court directed Google to suspend 15 Google Form URLs used to collect the information of people interested in applying for Starbucks franchises, even though the company doesn't have a franchise model in India. The interim application was filed in the retail giant's ongoing case against the National Internet Exchange of India for registering trademark-infringing websites that hawked fake Starbucks franchisee schemes. "In the opinion of this Court, the plaintiffs would be entitled to the relief they seek in this application, on account of not only that these Google Forms are being posted by imposters in order to elicit information relating to Starbucks franchise (which do not exist in India) as well as seeking private information and data from the general public, which cannot be countenanced," Justice Anish Dayal observed on January 22nd. Google was also directed to provide Starbucks with the user details of the Google Form registrants within two weeks, with the information provided subject to Google's internal policies. Starbucks is also at liberty to file an affidavit before the High Court listing out any more such Google Form URLs, which Google can suspend too. If Google has reservations about suspending the URL, they can inform Starbucks which can then move the High Court for relief. During hearings last monsoon, Starbucks argued that since it doesn't have franchises in India, any website representing itself as such is both trademark-infringing and harmful to consumers. Starbucks added that platforms have obligations under India's platform regulation laws,…

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