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Business News/ Companies / News/  Indiamart, JD in legal war over copyright violations

Indiamart, JD in legal war over copyright violations

Indiamart sued Just Dial alleging it infringed its copyright over website compilations

The Delhi high court last week granted an ad interim injunction in favour of Indiamart.Premium
The Delhi high court last week granted an ad interim injunction in favour of Indiamart.

Indiamart Intermesh Ltd and Just Dial Ltd are engaged in a legal wrangle over copyright infringement issues that may delay the latter’s plan to launch its own business-to-business (B2B) marketplace with JD Mart.

Online B2B marketplace Indiamart, which was founded in 1996, sued Just Dial in the Delhi high court in November alleging that Just Dial infringed upon its copyright over the website compilations that Indiamart made after years of hard work.

JD Mart is currently in beta stage and will directly compete Indiamart after launch.

The Delhi high court last week granted an ad interim injunction in favour of Indiamart. It also appointed local commissioners to conduct searches on Just Dial’s premises in Mumbai and Bengaluru and make an inventory of all the copies of the database in its website, mobile site and mobile application with respect to the launch of the proposed JD Mart B2B project.

The commissioners had searched Just Dial’s premises last week.

Indiamart also won a temporary legal injunction on the launch of JD Mart. JD Mart was expected to be launched by December.

In its court documents, Indiamart accused JustDial of “slavish imitation of Indiamart’s compilations and listings" which runs into several thousands of pages. Indiamart also alleged Just Dial (for JD Mart) has copied the design, presentation of the products of its various customers, which was earlier created by Indiamart.

“We didn’t expect such careless behaviour from a reputed, listed company. We would protect our data and intellectual property created over the last 20 years and wouldn’t want that to be misused. The matter is sub judice, so I can’t comment further," said Dinesh Agarwal, founder and CEO, Indiamart.

A 2 November report by JM Financial Research said Just Dial presently has around six million B2B listings on its platform (including paid and free listings). Suppliers of all these listings will have access to catalogues on JD Mart.

A Just Dial spokesperson said it is pursuing all legal remedies in the Delhi high court to counter or address Indiamart’s allegations in the court.

“Most importantly, we would like to highlight the fact that Indiamart are themselves indulging in illegal activities in all possible manner, be it copying data of Just Dial, cyber-squatting etc. They have not only committed this crime of data theft but have also flouted the government’s SOP (standard operating procedure) during their recent visit to our premises under the garb of an ex-parte order, thereby jeopardising the health, life and limb of our employees. Our company has intimated the authorities concerned and are in the process of taking appropriate action against IndiaMart officials and representatives," a Just Dial spokesperson said.

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Madhurima Nandy
I am a part of the long story team at Mint, and write on real estate, infrastructure, e-commerce, urban issues among others. I have over 20 years of experience as a journalist. As a long-story writer, I tell stories behind the news to capture the larger picture through an analytical lens, with authenticity.
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Published: 18 Nov 2020, 07:38 AM IST
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