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  • In the light of Akash Aggarwal v flipkart the Delhi High Court has ordered an interim on flipkart’s “latching on” feature
  • Latching on is a process by which third party sellers are allowed to add various products of a certain brand into their own listings along with the photographs of the said brand's products. This is possible through 'Opportunities' option under the 'Listings' tab on the 'Flipkart' website.
  • On the submissions made by the parties the court was convinced that such a feature cannot be allowed as it is a detriment to the brand and the owners and they might loose their original brand identity.
  • The consent and the authorisation of the owner is required before the conduct of any such activity claims HC.
  • The present suit has been filed seeking permanent and mandatory injunction restraining trademark and copyright infringement, passing off, delivery up, rendition of accounts, damages and other reliefs.
  • The Plaintiff - Mr. Akash Aggarwal is the sole proprietor of an entity operating under the mark/name ‘V Tradition’, which is engaged in the business of sale of clothing for women on various retail e-commerce platforms, such as ‘Amazon’, ‘Meesho’, ‘Myntra’, as also, that of Defendant - Flipkart.
  • The plaintiff has had several orders through flipkart, gaining lakhs of orders. 
  • The plaintiff claims to spend a substantial amount of money to get the ‘V’ mark printed on its women’s garments and the models to wear and advertise the products.
  • In the present suit, the grievance of the Plaintiff against Flipkart is that the said platform is encouraging and allowing third-party sellers to ‘latch on’ and use the mark ‘V Tradition’, along with the photographs of the Plaintiff’s products, on the said platform.
  • . By doing so, several third party sellers which are not connected to the Plaintiff, are able to portray themselves as ‘V Tradition’ and ride on the popularity of the products and designs of the Plaintiff. Such third-party sellers also misuse the photographs created by the Plaintiff for his own products sold under the ‘V Tradition’ umbrella.
  • The Plaintiff has, thus, filed the present suit seeking reliefs against Flipkart from permitting third-party sellers to ‘latch on’ to his name and products.
  • This Court is of the opinion that any infringing third-party product listings would be liable to be taken down.
  • The balance of convenience lies in favour of the Plaintiff and irreparable injury would be caused to the Plaintiff if an interim injunction is not granted.
  • Accordingly, till the next date of hearing, Flipkart, and all others acting for and on its behalf, shall stand restrained from allowing any third-party sellers from ‘latching on’.
  • Third parties cannot benefit from the goodwill of existing brands. The latching on feature gives a the power to misuse the current brands of the owner hence a temporary injunction has been granted till a decision has been derived.
     
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