The wrongful representation by the defendants of their products being cheaper than the plaintiffs and advertising it on Facebook was considered as infringement of the plaintiff’s trademarks and damage to their reputation and goodwill. The aforesaid was raised in the High Court of Delhi in the case of Snapdeal Private Limited v. M/S Futuretimes Technologies Pvt. Ltd [CS(COMM) 113/2020] which was decided upon by the single judge bench comprising Justice Suresh Kumar Kait on 19th July 2021.
The facts of the case are as follows. According to plaintiff, in the month of March, 2020, the plaintiff came across several advertisements on Facebook by the e-commerce portal www.clubfactory.com, with the by-line “Everything cheaper than Snapdeal”. It was contended by the plaintiff that both the parties’ practice “marketplace based” system and in a market-place based model the product inventory as also the sellers are dynamic. Two marketplaces with multitude of sellers offering a multitude of products at any given point of time are therefore by definition incomparable. Further, the stand of plaintiff is that the prices of products on both portals at any given point in time are independently variable and in the public domain and despite the same, the very fact that the defendant has launched a targeted campaign, presently restricted to Facebook, falsely claiming that everything on its portal is cheaper than on the plaintiff’s portal makes it clear that this false advertising is deliberately aimed at diverting the plaintiffs customers to the defendant on false promises and to earn the revenues that are rightfully due to the plaintiff. Hence, the present suit had been filed seeking a decree of injunction. Plaintiff had also sought decree of damages against the defendants to the tune of Rs.2,00,01,000/-, towards loss of sales, reputation and goodwill of the Plaintiffs trademarks caused by the activities of the defendant.
However, on 19th July 2021 the parties submitted that “they have arrived at an amicable settlement that the present suit be decreed in favour of plaintiff and against the defendant It has been agreed that in lieu thereof, plaintiff will not raise the claim of damages mentioned in prayer.”