Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has slapped a legal notice on Travelkhana, a Delhi-based e-caterer serving trains, alleging copyright and trademark infringement.
Travelkhana's mobile application IR Catering is similar in name, colour scheme and design to IRCTC's mobile application IRCTC Connect, the Indian Railways arm has alleged in its notice served on November 17. Travelkhana co-founder and chief executive Pushpinder Singh has denied the charge.
"We have not claimed in any application we are IRCTC. But we have taken the app off as we do not want any confrontation," Singh told the Business Standard. IRCTC has alleged Travelkhana launched the app even as it is not authorised to act on IRCTC's behalf.
According to IRCTC, the similarity of the applications is likely to create the impression that the source of the apps is same or that there exists an association between the two companies. IRCTC has asked Travelkhana to remove its application and pay Rs 5 lakh in damages within a week of the receipt of the notice.
Another company official said they have also requested Google to remove Travelkhana's application from GooglePlay apart from writing to the rail ministry on the issue.
Indian Railways runs around 14,000 passenger trains. Only around 250 of them have a meal car or service on board.
IRCTC sells around 5 lakh tickets per day and also provides catering service.
Travelkhana is owned and operated by Delhi-based Duronto Technologies. It was founded in 2012 by Singh, a BITS Pilani graduate who also holds a B Tech in engineering from IIT (Banaras Hindu University), Varanasi. The company had in 2013 raised an undisclosed amount in funding from Google India head Rajan Anandan, who had co-invested along with Delhi and Bangalore-based Palaash Ventures.