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Delhi HC restrains UK portal from copying OLX content

Delhi High Court has restrained a UK-based online classifieds company and its website from copying material and contents of OLX, which provides an online platform for people to buy and sell used products. Justice Valmiki J Mehta also restrained UK-based Padawan Ltd and its website from using the logo and trademark of OLX and directed internet service providers like Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd, Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd, Idea, Airtel, Vodafone, Aircel and others to ensure the directions of the court are enforced.

The interim order was passed on a plea by OLX alleging that Padawan was "lifting" several listings of products from its website and displaying it on

"It appears that the defendants (Padawan and its website) have copied nearly the entire database and compilation of listings of the plaintiffs (OLX)," the petition filed through advocate Pravin Anand said. 

"In view of the arguments urged on behalf of plaintiffs and having perused the pleadings and documents, till further orders unless varied by the court, Defendant 1 (Padawan) is restrained from in any manner violating the copyrights of the plaintiffs in any of its literature or artistic work or photographs or any other copyright material in proprietorship and ownership of the plaintiff, as stated in the plaint, but not limited thereto.

"Defendant 1 is also restrained in any manner from using the trademark and logo OLX of the plaintiffs and which are registered in favour of the plaintiffs," the court said. It also issued summons in the suit and notices in the interim application to the defendants and listed the matter for further proceedings before the Joint Registrar on July 8, 2016. OLX, which claims to have operations in over 40 countries through its website and mobile apps, has in its plea sought blocking of Padawan's website , terming it a "rogue site".

The company has claimed that by using its trademarks as meta-tags, which are codes used by search engines to access webpage content, Padawan was allegedly attempting to "confuse web search engines into believing that there is a connection between the two", thereby boosting the visibility of its website. "Therefore, any user who might search for products on the plaintiffs' website is likely to be misdirected to defendants' website owing to the above-mentioned meta-tags embedded therein," OLX has claimed.

OLX, which claims to be operating in India since 2008, has contended that it is "likely to suffer dilution of goodwill, reputation and positive associations" linked to its trademarks "occasioned by the loss of distinctiveness, uniqueness and exclusivity attached thereto".

"Though it is difficult to ascertain the exact value of the plaintiffs' trademark OLX or the quantum of damages suffered by the plaintiffs at this, for the time being the value of the plaintiffs' trademark OLX and damages suffered by the plaintiffs as a result of the acts of the defendant can be nominally valued to be at least Rs 1,00,01,000," the plea  has said.
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