Recently, India’s oldest online B2B marketplace, IndiaMART sues its potential upcoming rival Justdial over copyright infringement issues by filing a plea in Delhi high court on November 10th. IndiaMART alleged that Just Dial copied it its website compilations that took many years of hard work.
Justdial which recently completed 25 years in telephone-based directory, is now planning to expand in the Business to business (B2B) market, essentially connecting buyers and suppliers digitally by launching its own JD Mart.
Presently, JD Mart is in beta stage and will be launched soon to give competition to other B2B companies. A direct rival would be IndiaMART with one of the largest digital marketplace in India.
Temporary relief to IndiaMART:
Delhi High Court in a response had granted an interim injunction in favour of IndiaMART. Following this, JustDial’s office was sacked, and the court-appointed commissioners would make copies of the inventory of its website, mobile site and application database regarding the launch of JD Mart.
JD mart was expected to be launched in December, but now IndiaMART has also won a temporary injunction, thereby delaying the inauguration.
IndiaMART was launched in 1996 by Dinesh Agarwal, the oldest B2B in India and since then it is one of the leading digital marketplace in India. Currently, the IndiaMART app has more than one crore downloads and rules over 60% of market share.
Dinesh Agarwal, CEO of IndiaMART, said “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.”
He further emphasized that “it’s not a one or two-quarter game, and it takes decades to build a strong B2B platform.”
Before filing legal proceeding against JD Mart, Dinesh in an interview with Business Insider, said “There are various kinds of B2B businesses and there are players like Amazon, Walmart. Let us see what JD Mart comes up with.”
Justdial’s Justification and Fightback:
Justdial called the allegations frivolous, insignificant and baseless and further filed a regulatory on November 18th. The firm reversely accused IndiaMART of indulging in illegal activities for data-copying, cybersquatting and resorting to other infringements. The company said that it would present its position before the high court soon.
Justdial spokesperson said that “They (IndiaMart) 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, thereby jeopardizing the health, life and limb of our employees.”
It is to be noted the order of the High Court of Delhi was passed as ex-parte (from judges without consulting others disputed parties) and till date, Just Dial has not been served with a complete set of paper book.
Lastly, Justdial justified that their products suffer from no plagiarism, and the same can be said for both in terms of law and best business practices.
VSS Mani founded Just Dial in 1994 which provides local search for different services in India over the phone, website and mobile apps.
As a result of the legal chaos, we see Justdial’s shares falling by 3.24%, while IndiaMart was up remotely by 0.5%