Data theft: HC asks askme.in to shut down

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Data theft: HC shuts down askme.in
Bangalore, Jan 30: Just Dial, India"s No 1 local search engine, with a single national number 69999999 in 240 cities, has obtained injunction against Infomedia 18 Limited (one of the group company of media group TV18), restraining it from carrying out any business or rendering any service of providing information of business, services, and products, through their newly launched website askme.in.

In a suit filed by Just Dial against Infomedia 18, Just Dial alleged that Infomedia 18 had copied its extensive database and was displaying the same on its website askme.in, thereby infringing Just Dial"s copyright in its valuable database.

The Delhi High Court has granted an exparte injunction against Infomedia 18, restraining them from infringing Just Dial"s copyright and from running the website askme.in till the next date of hearing.

The High Court has also appointed commissioners to visit Infomedia 18 Ltd"s office in Delhi and Mumbai and to seize and take into custody all the CPUs, compact, floppy discs and/or other storage media containing any part of the commercial or business directory database belonging to Just Dial.

One of the Just Dial"s official said that it was an aspect of cyber crime and termed it as a significant legal victory for the company.

"We have approached Delhi High Court and Justice agreed that prima facie case for the grant of an ex-parte injunction and this is rare, underlining the seriousness and significance of the breach. Just Dial has spent over 14 years of research and a lot of resources in building up its database and that the company treats matters of copyright infringement very seriously and will vigorously defend the copyright on its valuable database," he added.

City information about products, services is the valuable information for both companies on which they build their business.

Data theft is becoming a common intellectual property related case in the Indian Online industry.

Recently online travel agency Travelocity India has filed an FIR against Amit Taneja, former MD of Desiya and Stuart Crighton, CEO, Cleartrip for alleged criminal breach of trust, data theft, cheating, criminal misappropriation and criminal conspiracy.

Just Dial has raised three rounds of strategic investments from California based venture fund Sequoia Capital, New York based Hedge Fund Tiger Global and Hong Kong-based SAIF partners.

Infomedia's websites says Infomedia 18 Limited is a publicly listed company with professional management. It is listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange. TV 18 India Limited has acquired indirect control in the company.

Lately local search space has heated up as it has attracted lot of big investments. Sulekha, AskLaila, Google, GETIT Yellow Pages, Yahoo funded Call Ezee are in this space. In spite of the competition Just Dial has maintained its leadership position.

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