Casio takes legal action against Snapdeal due to increasing consumer complaints
The interim direction by Justice Pratibha M Singh came on the plea of the three direct sellers alleging that Casio products were being sold on ecommerce platforms at cheaper rates, resulting in financial losses.
Japan-based electronics manufacturing company Casio initiated legal action against ecommerce website Snapdeal in the district court of Delhi on Friday because of complaints regarding the sale of counterfeit watches and calculators branded as Casio.
Based on the submissions of Casio, the court granted an ad-interim ex-parte injunction order in its favour, restraining Snapdeal from selling, displaying, and advertising goods bearing the trademark of Casio.
Casio India Co. Pvt. Ltd. (CIC) has been operating in India since 1996 and its range of products include sales and marketing of handheld calculators, desktop calculators, scientific calculators, printing calculators, label printers, laser-LED based green projectors, wrist watches, clocks, and electronic musical instruments (EMI). The company has also established service centres across the country to provide after-sales-services.
Satoshi Yamazaki, General Manager at Legal Department of Casio, said,
“Casio is extremely sensitive towards the protection of its intellectual property rights and has been fighting against the counterfeiting menace in India. As a part of its anti-counterfeiting strategy, Casio has been fighting the traders in the local markets in India and has extended its battle against the fakes on the internet.”
Earlier this month, Snapdeal, along with other ecommerce majors like Amazon and Flipkart, was restrained by the Delhi HC from selling health and beauty products of direct sellers like Amway, Modicare, and Oriflame without their consent.
The interim direction by Justice Pratibha M Singh came on the plea of the three direct sellers, alleging that products under their brands were being sold on ecommerce platforms at cheaper rates resulting in financial losses to them. They also raised concerns that the goods may be tampered with or counterfeited.
Upon the court's direction, only those sellers who have obtained the consent will be allowed to sell their products on the ecommerce platforms. Further, the ecommerce platforms will have to display the complete contact details of the sellers who had obtained the consent of the plaintiffs to sell their products.
Commenting on the latest develpment, a Snapdeal spokesperson told YourStory:
"This order of the honorable court has been issued ex-parte, and we will approach for review and modification of the order."
"In multiple recent cases, broad and sweeping injunctions granted against various marketplaces have, on review, been limited in scope to individual sellers, who may be in breach. A distinction between platforms and sellers is an important one to ensure that genuine sellers are not adversely affected due to actions of a few," the spokesperson added.
The ecommerce company claims that it operates a robust anti-counterfeiting programme called Brand Shield, allowing brands to report instance of counterfeit products being sold on its platform.
(Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta)
UPDATE: This story has been updated to reflect Snapdeal's inputs.