A legal battle has commenced between Nextgen Teleservices, a company owned by PhoneyTunes founder Taron Mohan and Altruist, which acquired Mobisoft’s business from him, over rights over the use of a Mobile VAS platform called The Genie. Several business – including telecom operators and MVAS companies, have received letters from the legal representatives of Nextgen Teleservices, claiming that their copyright has been infringed by Altruist, of which MediaNama has a copy. A case was registered in the Delhi High Court, beginning 26th September 2012.
According to the notice sent by NextGen, an interim injunction was issued, restraining Altruist Technologies from using “The Genie” and its versions. The Genie includes a Content Management System, SMS/MMS Gateways, WAP and Web portal solutions, Charging gateways, Subscription Engine, among other components, and was installed with telecom operators for deploying MVAS.
The notice sent asks companies to confirm whether the platform, which had been provided by MobiSoft in 2011, and (allegedly) now being provided by Altruist, is still in use, and asks for the summary transaction logs from the platform from the period January 1st 2012, till date.
Speaking with MediaNama, Taron Mohan said that as per the legal agreement between them and Altruist, Altruist didnt buy the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) (possibly referring to the software in use). “Everything is documented as per the legal agreement. The transaction was done in February last year. We told them they have three months to swap the platform. They sold the code to CanvasM, and we told them not to do it.” Mohan said that Altruist had just bought the business agreements from them, not the platform and its IPR, the ownership of which was transferred to NextGen, Mohan’s company.
Altruist appears to be contesting this claim. Anuj Aggarwal, MD of Altruist, told MediaNama that “Out of our generosity we had not put non compete clause which Taron is taking undue advantage of.” Aggarwal declined to comment any further on the details of the dispute.