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Supreme Court Grants Relief To BharatMatrimony; Directs Rivals To Restrain From Displaying Ads

The Supreme Court has given some relief to Consim Info, the company that runs the matrimony site, Bharat Matrimony, in a legal battle with Google over its competitors Shaadi.com and others, using keywords like ‘bharat’ and ‘matrimony’ under Google’s Adwords program to display their ads. The Supreme Court, in its recent order, has directed Consim’s competitors including People Interactive (Shaadi.com), Times Business Solutions (SimplyMarry), and Info Edge (JeevanSathi) to restrain from displaying their names in the website of the petitioner in the “AdWords” programme of the Google. The three-judge Bench of Chief Justice Altamas Kabir and Justices Surinder Singh Nijjar and J. Chelameswar has also issued notices to the companies, based on a special leave petition filed by Consim. This means that text ads of rival matrimony sites would not be displayed if a user enters the search keywords, bharat matrimony or tamil matrimony, in addition to bharatmatrimony. We tried searching for the same and found that the sponsored results only displayed BharatMatromony.

The development comes after the Madras High Court’s dismissal of Consim India’s appeal against Google India and four other firms, and upholding of a single judge order that Google India did not deprive Consim Info the benefit of their trademark policy and protected their trademarks, including Bharat Matrimony.

Consim Info CEO, Murugavel Janakiraman, did not answer our call. We will update the post when we hear from him.

Timeline: 

– In 2009, Chennai-based Consim Info, that runs Bharatmatrimony.com, had petitioned the Madras High Court against Google for displaying their competitors’ ads on Google search result page when someone searches for ‘bharatmatrimony’, and taken Google, Shaadi.com and SimplyMarry.com to court. The court had initially granted an ex-party interim injunction that prevented the usage of Consim Info registered trademarks in AdWords advertising, and stopped the defendents from bidding on/allowing bidding on Consim Info’s trademarks.

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–  However, in October 2010, the Court had vacated the interim injunction granted to Consim Info, and had directed Google India to adhere to its present business policy. The court had also directed that Consim Info’s trademarks (Bharatmatrimony.com, TamilMatrimony.com, TeluguMatrimony.com etc) be not used in AdWords. So the verdict was in a way in favour of Google.

– Consim had then appealed against the decision made by the Court, before a Division Bench of the Madras High Court.

– The bench dismissed the appeal filed by Consim against Google India Pvt Ltd and four other firms and upheld a single judge order that Google India did not deprive Consim Info the benefit of their trademark policy and protected their trademarks, including Bharat Matrimony.

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