What’s in a name? Perhaps a lot.
India’s largest online grocery platform Bigbasket has sent a ‘cease and desist’ notice to Coimbatore-based grocery startup DailyBasket for the usage of ‘basket’ in its name. (A cease and desist letter is a legal notice sent to an individual or a business to stop action like copying of trademarks.)
“We are a tiny online/offline grocery startup currently only serving in Coimbatore. We recently received a cease and desist letter from BigBasket to close down our operations and hand over our domains (ie, our business) to them because we have ‘basket’ in our brand and we also sell groceries online,” DailyBasket said in a statement.
Bigbasket claims that DailyBasket’s nomenclature is a trademark infringement. It has alleged that the latter’s mobile app and website layouts are similar to its, and has urged them to “discontinue” it.
Clarifying the above, DailyBasket said, “Though we have a word ‘basket’ in our brand and we do deliver online groceries, it doesn’t mean we copied their trademarks or unethically copied their website and apps. We never misuse BigBasket’s brand in any way as they claimed in the cease and desist letter. That’s a blatant lie.”
Founded in August 2020 by Ramesh Vel and Ajit Kumar, DailyBasket plans to set up a string of mini supermarkets throughout Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu and turn them into delivery hubs for its online grocery business.
The bootstrapped startup currently operates a 3,000-square-foot warehouse, and is slated to open a mini-store later this week.
Following Bigbasket’s legal notice, DailyBasket has accused the soon-to-be-acquired-unicorn for being a “bully” and has also shared the letter publicly.
Founder Ramesh Vel also posted a series of tweets on the issue.
As per Bigbasket’s legal notice, DailyBasket is an “ecommerce business and offering identical products and services through the conflicting similar domain name.”
“Use of the word ‘daily’ along with ‘basket’ does not make your name distinctive, and… you have dishonestly adopted the name and mark “dailybasket” to make your name and mark deceptively and/or confusingly similar to our client’s brand BigBasket,” the notice said.
Bigbasket also noted that DailyBasket “deliberately copied the layout and getup” of its “website (with insignificant minor changes) to mischievously associate it” with its brand. Meanwhile, Dailybasket, which calls itself a “two-person startup”, has urged the BigBasket management “to look into this matter” and prevent “unlawful intimidation”.