Acting on Snapdeal’s complaint, the Delhi High Court has restrained various known and unknown entities from fraudulently using the trademark “Snapdeal”. The court’s interim order came in a suit filed by M/s Jasper Infotech Private Limited, which operates leading e-commerce marketplace “Snapdeal”.
In its petition, Snapdeal had asked for action to be taken against scamsters, who were mis-using Snapdeal’s name to run fraudulent schemes. The scamsters were found to be using Snapdeal’s name to invoke trust amidst unsuspecting members of the public and inducing them to pay money on the basis of false promises of expensive gifts/prizes such as Tata Safari cars and others. The fraudulent offers were extended through SMS, phone calls, websites and scratch cards etc.
As part of their modus operandi, the scamsters were found to be using multiple mobile numbers and bank accounts in a manner intended to make it very difficult for them to be identified without a very coordinated investigation and enforcement by various law enforcement agencies. Fidus Law Chambers, which appeared for Snapdeal submitted that the offenders have been siphoning off the money from unsuspecting general public by illegally using the Snapdeal trademark and that Snapdeal has no involvement or association with any such schemes.
Taking into consideration interest of general public and adverse impact on the reputation of the plaintiff company, the Delhi High Court directed GoDaddy.com LLC, Endurance Domain Technology LLP, Wild West Domain LLC etc, to suspend infringing domain names. The Hon’ble Delhi High Court also directed nearly 500 bank accounts to be frozen, which had been used by scamsters to receive funds elicited fraudulently.
These accounts are in various leading banks, including State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, United Bank of India, Indian Overseas Bank, Industrial Development Bank of India, Canara Bank etc. As per a Snapdeal Spokesperson, “The mis-use of the names of leading companies to allure unsuspecting users is a serious industry problem that needs to be tackled aggressively. We have tracked and collated details and proof, including websites, telecom and banking channels used in recordings of fraud calls, details of bank transfers etc. and we are thankful for the Hon’ble Court’s directions in this regard.”
Apart from issuing public advisories, Snapdeal has been working with law enforcement and the government agencies to curb this nuisance.