Furniture makes Housefull International has served a notice to online furniture marketplace Mebelkart for allegedly selling fake products under the brand name of Housefull International. It has sought payment of pending dues amounting to 28 Lakhs and also demanded an additional 150 crores for tarnishing its brand image and reputation.
Housefull International used to sell its products on Mebelkart platform but stopped selling in February after the latter failed to clear dues of up to Rs 28 lakh.
According to Housefull, since then, Mebelkart has been illegally selling counterfeit products bearing Housefull brand name.
After terminating our partnership with (Mebelkart), later in March we started receiving negative feedback from market associates about our products being fake and definitely not resembling the original quality.
said Akshay Chaturvedi, co-founder of Housefull International.
The company filed a complaint against Mebelkart on April 16 for the same and later also gave a legal notice to Mebelkart demanding payment of pending dues and 150 crores in compensation for damaging its brand name.
Rahul Agarwal, CEO of Mebelkart, however rejected Housefull’s claim that the partnership between two companies was terminated and said that Mebelkart just offered a platform to sellers to showcase and sell their products to buyers across the country.
As a brand, we do not retail products. Sellers at any point of time can delist themselves or remove their products from the website. We regularly review complaints that we receive both from buyers and sellers and take action against erring parties.
said Rahul, in a statement sent to The Tech Portal.
He further said that Housefull International was a seller on Mebelkart, but was delisted from the website due to non-compliance with their terms and conditions.
Confirming that they have got a legal notice by Housefull, Agarwal further clarified,
Housefull’ is a generic term and several sellers use the ‘Housefull’ word in their product descriptions. A random search on “Housefull” on the Mebelkart website will show that there is no product under the “Housefull” brand name being sold. There is no use of any trademark of the said brand.
Mebelkart is backed by local search engine platform Askme.com which owns 75% stake in the company after investing $20 million last year.
This however, is not the first time a dispute between an online marketplace and a merchant or seller using its platform to sell their products has come up.
Last year, three major e-commerce companies- Amazon, Flipkart, and eBay were sued by Mumbai-based saree distributor Shree Meena Creations for illegally selling replicas of its designs on their platforms. That very year, another e-commerce website Shopclues was accused of selling counterfeit JBL headphones and was served a notice by Harman International.