Delhi HC restrains OLX, Quikr from posting fake Reliance job ads on web portals; says postings cause harm to firm's reputation

The lawsuits said fake and fraudulent recruitment advertisements were being published on the defendants’ web portals which are accessible under various words like “JIO JOBS, RELIANCE TRENDS JOBS”.

Press Trust of India May 29, 2020 18:44:40 IST
Delhi HC restrains OLX, Quikr from posting fake Reliance job ads on web portals; says postings cause harm to firm's reputation

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has restrained OLX India and Quikr India from posting on their web portals “fake and fraudulent” recruitment advertisements by using words ‘JIO Jobs’ and ‘Reliance Trends Jobs'' allegedly causing harm to the goodwill and reputation of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL).

Justice Mukta Gupta, in two separate interim orders, said RIL and Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd have made out a prima facie case in their favour and in case no ad-interim injunction is granted they would suffer an irreparable loss and balance of convenience also lies in their favour.

The high court passed the orders Thursday on two suits by RIL saying they are the owners of trademarks and trade names JIO and RELIANCE, with its variations in number of classes and defendants OLX India BV and OLX India Pvt Ltd and Quikr India Pvt Ltd are causing immense harm and irreparable injury to their goodwill and reputation.

The web portals are engaged in publishing classified advertisements and they enable consumers to publish advertisements for selling and offering goods and services for a consideration.

The lawsuits said fake and fraudulent recruitment advertisements were being published on the defendants’ web portals which are accessible under various words like “JIO JOBS, RELIANCE TRENDS JOBS” and this infringes the plaintiffs’ trademark and trade name JIO and RELIANCE.

It said their trademark was being used and a number of innocent job seekers are duped and money is being extorted from them.

The lawsuit against Quikr said that the web portal also operates as an online recruitment website facilitating consumers to advertise job vacancies.

It said that the defendant categorises its customers who are job seekers into three different categories such as ‘Gold’, ‘Rapid Hire’ and ‘Spot Light’ thereby charging its customers on the basis of facilities which they would be able to avail from this portal.

The counsel for OLX India submitted before the high court that they have removed some of the URLs and due to technical reasons, one URL could not be removed and they are in the process of doing it.

They further said they have also added filters with the words ‘JIO and RELIANCE’ so that in future nobody can misuse their platform with these false and fictitious advertisements so as to defraud the job seekers and infringe the plaintiffs’ trademarks or trade names.

The counsel for Quikr India said the listings on its portal are automatic and in view of the large number of people listing their advertisements on the web portal and the system being auto generated, the web portal has no mechanism to ascertain the authenticity of the third parties.

The counsel said as and when any party lodges a complaint, the defendant pulls down the concerned URL and in this case on being informed that these two URLs are fake, it would immediately pull them down.

The high court, in its order passed in Quikr case, said “Consequently, till the next date of hearing, defendant, its agents, servants, affiliates are also restrained from putting on their portal any advertisement containing the name/mark JIO and RELIANCE with its variations and/or any other mark, logo which is deceptively/confusingly similar to the plaintiffs’ registered trademarks JIO and RELIANCE in terms of prayer…”

The high court also issued summons to OLX India and Quikr India on the lawsuits and listed the matter for further hearing on 21 September.

The high court asked the OLX India and Quikr India to file their written statement in response to the suit and added that the affidavit would indicate the “process implemented by them as also the due diligence carried out and precautions taken so that the platform of the defendants is not misused and illegal advertisements posted thereon”.

 

(Disclaimer: Reliance Industries Ltd. is the sole beneficiary of Independent Media Trust which controls Network18 Media & Investments Ltd which publishes Firstpost)

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