Bombay High Court asks JustDial to approach Telecom Tribunal in copyright infringement case
The Court directs the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal to consider the application on its merits as expeditiously as possible
The Bombay High Court has directed JustDial Ltd to approach the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) in a copyright infringement case involving Indiamart Intermesh Ltd.
A High Court bench of Justices KR Shriram and Abhay Ahuja has also directed the Tribunal to consider the application on its merit as expeditiously as possible.
JustDial had approached Bombay High Court for directions to Indiamart Intermesh Ltd to provide documents and data in Just Dial Ltd & Ors. v Indiamart Intermesh Ltd & Ors. case challenging the April order of the Tribunal.
JustDial had filed the application challenging order of the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT), staying proceedings that alleged contraventions of the Information Technology Act.
In the appeal, JustDial had sought for an interim stay on the AO's order and directions while urging that Indiamart be directed to submit the relevant documents as demanded by it.
JustDial sought to justify its appeal and urgent relief expressing apprehension that Indiamart may be deleting data.
Advocate Sanjay Jain, appearing for Indiamart, did not rule out such a possibility stating that as per their internal process, a cleanup process periodically takes place and various information uploaded by its users/suppliers are deleted by applicant's systems.
After hearing both the parties briefly, the bench noted that there was an appeal pending before the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal and observed that JustDial could apply to the Tribunal so that it may direct Indiamart to provide all documents and data.
The bench also directed the Tribunal to consider the application on its merits as expeditiously as possible.
When JustDial was in the process of launching its B2B marketplace. Indiamart, India's largest online business to business (B2B) marketplace and informational hub for small and medium enterprises, visited the beta version of the website, which is a regular industry practice.
The two entities have since been accusing each other of data theft.
Indiamart alleged that JustDial's beta version had engaged in en masse copying of proprietary and copyrighted material, thereby infringing Indiamart's intellectual property rights. It subsequently filed a copyright infringement suit against JustDial in the Delhi High Court which granted an ad-interim injunction.
JustDial, in response, filed a complaint before the Adjudicating Officer (AO) under the IT Act for alleged data theft. Relying upon the AO's order, JustDial called upon Indiamart to furnish certain documents to them for inspection.
The AO's order was challenged before the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal which stayed the proceedings and the order of the AO.
JustDial, which has its headquarters in Mumbai, filed the present appeal before the Bombay High Court challenging the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal's order and filed an affidavit seeking urgent hearing claiming that Indiamart was deleting data required for investigation, allegedly without furnishing any documents in support of the claim.
Indiamart also approached the Bombay High Court alleging that JustDial had filed false and fabricated documents in relation to an appeal filed in a copyright infringement case initiated by Indiamart and claimed that the documents were filed by JustDial without a certificate under Section 65B of the Evidence Act, which was a pre-requisite for admission of any electronic records.
The Bombay High Court has fixed 25 August as the next date of hearing in the case.