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'Ballot Petty' and 'Netamaker' Slug It out over IP Rights

Published: 26th April 2014 10:47 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th April 2014 10:47 AM   |  A+A-

It’s raining apps in Kerala as many companies in the state, both big and small, have developed applications in Android and other platforms; so do controversies. 

The latest on the dubious list is the allegation of intellectual property (IP) rights violations against the ‘Ballot Petty’ app developed by Cabot Technology Solutions Pvt Ltd, a Kochi-based firm.

The ‘Ballot Petty’ became quite popular during the elections as an app that provides information on candidates, including criminal charges against them.  But US-based firm NRI Management Consultants  has alleged that the app is virtually a  copycat of its product ‘Netamaker’, which was released earlier in the month.

Saji Salam, founder and CEO of NRI Management Consultants, said, they had engaged Cabot to develop an application after signing the non-disclosure agreement. But Cabot created a similar application without the knowledge of NRI Management Consultants, he added. The company has filed a complaint regarding IP rights violation against Cabot and complained to Nasscom on the issue.

He said that Cabot had violated IP rights and other firms in the US are concerned about outsourcing work to India. “Despite short-listing various firms in Bangalore, we decided to go with Cabot, a company based in Kerala, to do the graphic design for ‘Netamaker’.

“After a few weeks of disclosing the product design, Cabot created a similar application with limited functionality and launched the product into Indian market without informing us. We are taking legal action against the company and that will give warning signals to firms that engage in violation of IP rights,” he told Express through e-mail.  

However, Cabot strongly refuted the allegations.

“It’s true that we did the design of ‘Netamaker’ but the functionality and design of ‘Ballot Petty’ are different. We can prove this any court,” said Venkatesh Thyagarajan, CEO of Cabot.

He said the company has not received any official intimation regarding complaints filed by NRI Management Consultants.

“Over 300 apps have entered the market with the advent of the elections and there is no point in saying one is the copy. NRI Consultants themselves had told us to copy the design of ‘Zomato’ app. They still owe us $250 and this is an attempt to block the payment,” he added.



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