Delhi High Court Seeks Google’s Response on Hindware Contempt Plea

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The Delhi High Court Friday sought response of Google Inc and its Indian arm on a contempt plea by a sanitary ware firm alleging that the search engine has violated its order injuncting use of the trade name Hindware.Justice Manmohan Singh issued notice to Google Inc, Google India as well as sanitary ware firm Cera and sought their replies by October 27 on the contempt petition filed by Hindustan Sanitaryware and Industries Ltd (HSIL) which alleged that the search engine has violated the court’s April 3 order.

Apart from seeking directions to the search engine to comply with the court’s April 3 order, HSIL has also sought compensation to the extent of Rs. 5 lakh from Google and Cera.

The court in its April 3 order had restrained them from using or permitting use of the word ‘Hindaware’ or any other mark or name that is identical or deceptively similar to HSIL’s registered trademark as an adword or keyword for the purposes of advertising on the Internet in respect of products that are manufactured or sold by Cera, the petition has said.

“The Defendant no. 3 and 4 (Google Inc and Google India) still continue to display the website of the Defendant No. 2 (Cera) as a sponsored link/ad, when a customer searches for “hindware sanitaryware” or “hindustan sanitaryware” in the search engine www.google.com,” the contempt plea, filed through advocate Prabhsahay Kaur, said.

Google AdWords is an online advertising service that places advertising copy at the top, bottom, or beside, the list of search results Google displays for a particular search query.

HSIL has alleged that through its adword program Google allows advertisers to purchase a competitor’s trademark or service mark as keywords and that the search engine sold Hindware as a keyword to Cera, thereby displaying www.cera.com as a sponsored link every time a person searched for Hindware.

It has contended that this does not occur in the case of other search engines likeYahoo and Bing.

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