A Bengaluru City Civil Court has directed Google India to refrain from diverting the traffic of crowd-funding platform Milaap to Impact Guru, which is another crowd-funding platform , reports LiveLaw. Milaap approached the court, seeking an injunction order against Google and Impact Guru, contending that the traffic to its website was being diverted to Impact Guru via AdWords, keyword, meta tag or in any manner whenever people searched for ‘Milaap’ on Google.
The Court saw a prima facie case and on April 12th passed an an-interim injunction order against Google from displaying Impact Guru’s website through usage of AdWords, keyword, meta tag or in any manner” for searches for Milaap. The defendants, Google and Impact Guru, entered appearance on June 6th and the next hearing is posted on June 28th.
Milaap claims diversion of traffic to Impact Guru
Milaap and Impact Guru are both crowd-funding platforms started in 2010 and 2015 respectively. Milaap claimed that its been using the trade-name since 2010 and has an established reputation in the market. It contended that the Impact Guru is “deliberately, unfairly and illegally misusing” its mark to divert traffic to their own website ‘www.impactguru.com’. It further alleged Impact Guru appears to be in “some sort of arrangement” to ensure that Google search results show a link to Impact Guru for searches for Milaap.
According to the plaint, whenever a user searches for the keyword ‘Milaap’ on Google, the first search result is for Impact Guru. Milaap contends that Impact Guru is “passing off” the mark ‘Milaap’ by using it in its web address and keyword, leading to further confusion among customers, and diverting the traffic of the plaintiff’s website. The plaint further provided that,
If an internet user searches for the mark ‘MILAAP’ on Google, the user sees “No. 1 Medical Fund Raising Site”. The Plaintiffs have raised over Rs. 240 Crore in Medical Fund Raising and is undoubtedly the No. 1 Medical Fund Raising Site in India. The Defendants’ choice of title using keywords that describes the Plaintiffs is clear evidence of their intent to mislead users into thinking that they are clicking on a link to the Plaintiffs’ website.