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Title:Surat company drags Flipkart, Amazon to court

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NEW DELHI: Siddhi Vinayak Knots & Prints, a Surat-based saree manufacturer and retailer, has filed cases against Amazon, Flipkart and several of their sellers in the Bombay High Court for allegedly selling sarees that are copies of its copyrighted designs. In some cases, it has dragged
Flipkart founders Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal as a party.

"My allegations are that these companies are infringing upon my copyright and design," said Siddhi Vinayak's lawyer Bhushan Mahadik. He said sellers on Amazon and Flipkart even used Siddhi Vinayak photographs that the company had shot using model Shreya Sabharwal.

"They are using my original model and images of products but selling fake copies of my products. By doing so, they have caused damage to my reputation and goodwill," Mahadik said.

Amazon and Flipkart are "shrugging" off the matter, saying they are marketplaces that merely offer a platform for sellers, he alleged. Siddhi Vinayak sells sarees under the flagship Laxmipati brand through company-owned outlets and other stores.

"We take the issue of fake and counterfeit products being sold on our marketplace by sellers very seriously," an Amazon spokesperson said in an e-mailed statement. "If it is brought to our notice that sellers are using our marketplace platform to sell fake or counterfeit products, we work with the sellers to bring such products down from our website. In case of repeated offenders, we do not hesitate to take strict action and may even go to the extent of delisting them from our marketplace."

Flipkart said it observes a zero-tolerance policy towards sellers found violating customer trust. "We are investigating this case where two sellers have allegedly been selling counterfeit products of Siddhi Vinayak Knots & Prints and those products have been removed. As a responsible marketplace, we will do our due diligence checks and take the necessary actions," a Flipkart spokesperson said.

Fashion is one of the biggest draws for India's ecommerce companies led by Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal, with thousands of sellers dealing in Indian ethnic wear.

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