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Bangalore-based Tiger Global-backed ecommerce company Flipkart  has filed a case against a firm named FlipkartDiscounts, a Seoni, Madhya Pradesh based company before the Delhi High Court accusing the latter of copyright and trademark infringement.

FlipkartDiscounts provides several discounted listings on its site and also directs consumers to various ecommerce portals including Flipkart, Amazon, Snapdeal and Paytm.

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“The court has accepted case against the website from operating under the current name and transfer the same to any third party,” a Flipkart spokesperson said.

The case is currently open with Delhi High Court and Flipkart is being represented by the lawyer Pratibha M Singh. A high court bench said in its interim order on March 23.

“The grievance of the plaintiffs is that the defendants are using the domain name www.flipkartdiscounts.net which infringes the plaintiffs’ registered trademark ‘Flipkart’,” a high court bench said in its interim order on March 23. “The plaintiffs are operating the website www.flipkart.com since 2007, which is very popular for making online purchases for a variety of products,” it said.

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On its website, FlipkartDiscounts has given the name, email address and social network handles of one Shubham Thakur as the contact person. An email query to Thakur did not elicit any response till press time Friday.

The success of homegrown ecommerce companies like Flipkart and Snapdeal in India has triggered a rush of me-too online retailers.

There are at least 15 ecommerce sites that have ‘kart’ appended to their name, ranging from relatively better known portals such as HealthKart and LensKart to lesser known ones like VeggieKart, SafetyKart, Mygreenkart, Metal-kart, Bagskart and AssamKart. Similarly, at least a dozen sites have ‘deal’ in their names like entedeal and freedealsguru.

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Last year, a similar situation had come to play involving Snapdeal wherein Snapdeal.pk, an ecommerce store based out of Pakistan, was cashing on Snapdeal’s name, copying everything from the design to the logo.

According to Flipkart’s spokesperson “We at Flipkart take stringent steps to safeguard our brand and trademarks,” . Flipkart is also accusing FlipkartDiscounts of using similar logo.

“The defendants, on their website, are using the name and logo of the plaintiffs and selling the same products as offered by the plaintiffs, with discounts and at prices offered by the plaintiffs, by creating links to the plaintiffs’ website and displaying the same on their own website,” the Delhi High Court interim order said. “The submission is that even this constitutes infringement of the plaintiffs’ trademarks and copyright.”

What’s your opinion on this copyright infringement case by Flipkart?

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