Bengaluru Court Passes Injunction Against Google In A Case Alleging Diversion Of Site Traffic By Illegal Use Of Keywords [Read Order]

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Update: 2019-06-19 13:07 GMT
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A Bengaluru court has passed an interim order of injunction against Google India, directing it to refrain from diverting the traffic of the official site of crowd funding platform 'Milaap'.

'Milaap' had approached the Bengaluru City Civil Court contending that traffic to its site was being diverted to another site '' 

When a user searches for the plaintiffs' mark 'Milaap' on Google, the first entry that appears is that of the website of 'Impact Guru', which is also a crowd funding platform, said the plaint. It was alleged that 'Impact Guru' was using the plaintiffs' mark in its web address and key words to divert traffic that legitimately belongs to plaintiff. 

The plaintiff also said that it appeared that the defendants have entered into some sort of arrangement to ensure that Google deceptively brings up a link to the 'Impact Guru' website whenever an individual searches for the plaintiffs' mark.

"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. Tellingly, the Defendant No. 2 does not use the term "the No. 1 Medical Fund Raising Site" on its website. The adoption of words that describe the Plaintiffs is clearly intended to mislead and deceive the public at large", said the plaint filed by Advocate Karan Joseph.

On April 12, the Court said that the plaintiff had made out a "prima facie" case and passed an ad-interim order restraining Google from displaying the website of 'Impact Guru' whenever a search of 'Milaap' is made and also from diverting traffic to 'Impact Guru' through the usage of AdWords, Keywords, meta tag or in any manner whenever a search of 'Milaap' is made.

The Court noted that plaintiff-company was in existence since 2012, whereas Impact Guru came into being only in 2015.

The defendants - Google and Impact Guru - entered appearance on June 6 and the matter is posted next on June 28.

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