Edtech startup Scaler has denied allegations of trademark infringement levelled against it by upGrad.
The company has come up with a statement after Ronnie Screwvala led edtech unicorn upGrad filed a suit for trademark infringement against Scaler in Delhi High Court, for allegedly using its brand name ‘upGrad’ through Google Ads.
Abhimanyu Saxena, cofounder, InterviewBit and Scaler said, “Google Adwords bidding wars are the standard industry practice these days. Having said that, we vehemently and categorically deny the charges levelled by upGrad.”
He further said that Scaler has not used upGrad’s brand name in its advertising or indulged in any activity that would result in copyright or trademark infringement.
“Top tech companies recruit from Scaler because of the highly skilled and ethical candidates we produce. We hold high ethical standards and are proud of the work our employees, learners, and alumni are doing to uplift our nation,” it said.
upGrad had alleged that Scaler used its brand name to appear on top of search results on Google search engine and in turn gaining illicit benefit. upGrad has also sought damages of over INR 3 Cr. The High Court on Monday, November 29 granted an ad-interim injunction in favour of upGrad, upGrad said in a statement.
The court, until further notice, has directed Scaler not to bid on upGrad’s registered marks and or its variants using Google Ads Programs or any other keyword program.
Arjun Mohan, CEO, India, upGrad had said that the company is evaluating filing trademark infringement suits against other edtech companies indulging in similar AdWord bidding activity.
Founded in 2015, Ronnie Screwvala-led upGrad entered the unicorn club in August this year after raising a total of $185 Mn from Temasek, the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) and IIFL at a valuation of $1.2 Bn.
Launched in 2019 by Abhimanyu Saxena and Anshuman Singh, Scaler is an edtech startup focused on upskilling college students and tech professionals. In August, the Bengaluru-based startup acquired Delhi-based edtech platform Coding Elements for $1 Mn.
Litigations Over Trademark Issues
In March this year, the Delhi High Court had granted an interim injunction in the favour of travel tech company MakeMyTrip and against HappyEasyGo (HEG) in a similar Google AdWords case.
The court also directed search engine giant Google to suspend HEG’s advertising account on Google Ads, where companies bid for certain keywords, to boost their visibility in search results.
The much stretched feud between fintech giants BharatPe and PhonePe over the ‘Pe’ suffix has also been in news of late. In November, the Delhi High Court set aside BharatPe’s petition to cancel multiple registrations of Flipkart-owned PhonePe for the ‘Pe’ suffix.
Earlier in October, PhonePe had withdrawn its injunction plea with the Bombay High Court against BharatPe’s usage of the ‘Pe’ suffix for its newly launched ‘buy now pay later’ offering ‘postpe’.