In a curious case which brings to fore issues with IPR and patenting, Shrikant Kunden, a Pune-based serial entrepreneur and founder-director of “Last Mile Digital Solutions Private Limited” filed a criminal complaint against Delhi-based angel investor network Indian Angel Network Services Pvt Ltd (IAN), Hyderabad-based Zippr Private Limited and Gagan Aggarwal, Incubator Manager, IAN, with Pune Police, for allegedly misusing his confidential documents, valuable information, trade secrets and, criminal breach of trust, stated a press statement issued by them.
IAN and Zippr have refuted the allegations, terming them factually incorrect and baseless.
Shrikant Kunden, a inventor from Pune, has been working on various innovative technologies since 2009, filing 4 patents in the last 6 years. One of his patent-filed technologies named “Digital Location System (DLS)” that was filed with the Patents Office in 2010, received 4th Prize in a national-level competition organised by the Government of India and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in 2012, among 650 contestants.
Shrikant stated that after being declared winner, a senior representative from the IAN met him and expressed interest in funding his project. Later, over emails, he was asked to share techno-functional-commercial documents of the project to formalize and initiate the funding process. Given the fact it was IAN, he shared the documents with IAN in good faith.
He alleges that however after a few months, a new company was incorporated in Hyderabad, Zippr Private Limited, in which IAN invested INR 6 Cr. Incidentally, Zippr too has developed the same solution and started commercialising its services around that time. Founded by Aditya Vuchi in May 2013 in a small garage office in Hyderabad, India it went live in the form of a mobile app in Dec 2013. Zippr enables users to create and share short codes (Zipprs e.g. ABCD1234) with friends or vendors to avoid low value conversations around finding an address.
Currently, it is offering its services to Domino’s India, Thyrocare India, Planet Express, Commonfloor.com, Carzcare, and Karnataka’s 108 emergency service and municipal corporations among others. Last September, it was also being speculated that Amazon had reportedly picked up a stake in Hyderabad-based startup for an investment of about $6 Mn.