New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has imposed a ₹10-lakh fine on online insurance aggregator, Policybazaar, for concealing facts to obtain an ex-parte injunction in a trademark infringement case filed by it against insurance company Acko General Insurance.
The next date of hearing is on July 11.
The high court on May 16 had restrained Acko General Insurance, which sells policies online, from using the trademark and was restrained from adopting and using the plaintiffs' "Policybazaar Word Marks" trademarks ("Policy Bazaar", "PolicyBazaar", "PolicyBazar" and 'Policy Bazar'), in any manner, form, variation and/or combination, as an AdWord or Ad Word Program or any other ad word/key word program through Google.
Acko, in a plea seeking vacation of the May 16 order, had told the court that Policybazaar has "concealed and distorted material facts, made misrepresentations and false statements" to obtain the ex-parte ad-interim injunction. The insurance company claimed that Policybazaar was using its name as a keyword and therefore, its website showed up as a sponsored link whenever someone searched for 'Acko'.
Senior advocate Sandeep Sethi, on behalf of Acko General, had argued that by misleading and concealment of information, in a surreptitious manner, PolicyBazaar had obtained the ex-parte injunction and the same was liable to be vacated.
PolicyBazaar admitted to using the keyword, but said it had stopped doing that since April 23, 2019.
“Plaintiffs themselves for nearly one year were bidding for Defendant's trademark 'ACKO' and were therefore acting in an unfair manner. This critical factor would have certainly weighed upon the court while granting ex-parte ad-interim injunction. By concealment of this material fact, Plaintiff has taken unfair advantage over the Defendant. The Court was certainly deprived of this valuable and critical information on 16th May 2019. For the foregoing reasons, and since the application for injunction is yet to be heard, at this stage, the court imposes a cost of ₹10 lacs on the Plaintiff- Rs. 5 lacs be deposited with the Prime Ministers Relief Fund and ₹5 lakhs with Delhi Legal-Aid Services Authority. It is further directed that the order of injunction shall remain suspended till the next date of hearing," the interim order said.