MakeMyTrip sues EaseMyTrip over trademark violation3 months ago Bhavitaavya Dharanikota
Travel company MakeMyTrip (MMT) has filed a suit against its travel rival, EaseMyTrip against trademark violation. Nurtured from the seed of a single great idea – to empower the Indian traveller – MakeMyTrip is a pioneer in India’s online travel industry. Founded in the year 2000 by Deep Kalra, MakeMyTrip came to life to empower the Indian traveller with instant bookings and comprehensive choices. The company initiated its journey serving the US-India travel market offering a range of best-value products and services powered by technology and round-the-clock customer support. After consolidating its position in the market as a brand recognised for its reliability and transparency, MakeMyTrip launched its India operations in 2005.
The battle between MakeMyTrip and EaseMyTrip has now reached the Delhi High Court and search engine giant Google has also been made a party to this suit filed by MMT. MakeMyTrip has accused EaseMyTrip of buying ad word from Google for a keyword ‘makemytrip’ on its search engine. This would mean any customer searching for MakeMyTrip may end up being shown results with EaseMyTrip pages on top. This, MMT says in its petition, is a violation of its trademark rights. Since Google has gone along with this violation, the search engine has also been made a party to it. This might be one of the first times the company is facing such a legal case in India. MMT’s claim is that in order to beat EaseMyTrip and still remain on top of the search results, it is forced to spend more. This, the company says, is unfair and has now asked the court to intervene.
Earlier, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) had imposed a fine on Google for being ‘search-biased’ and abusing ‘dominant position’ after the marriage portal ‘Matrimony’ filed a complaint against it. Now for the affected entity, in this case, MMT, to regain its ranking on the Google search engine results, it has to spend multiple times the amount and has been the key issue in the case. MakeMyTrip has said that it had sent a ‘cease and desist’ notice in September to EaseMyTrip, however, the latter did not respond to the notice and had since continued using the ad- word “MakeMyTrip”. The court will hear the matter further on May 8, 2019, and has sought responses from Google and EaseMyTrip.