US-based Houzz.com had in December filed a Cease & Desist notice against Bengaluru-based Houzify.com, claiming that the trademark applications for Houzify and Housify impinged on the trademark protections which Houzz sits on.
When accessed by NextBigWhat team, it was observed that Houzz did not even have a website specific to India and Houzz.in redirected to Houzz.com, which has no service for Indian market. Indian Trademarks Registry has awarded Houzz no protection on trademark applications yet. Trademark applications for “Houzify” and “Housify” is also pending before the Indian Trademarks Registry from early 2015.
Despite this the American company claimed for supremacy over the generic term “house” and filed a Cease and Desist notice against the Indian company. After several negotiations, Houzify agreed to change the representation of Houzify to a different font and also place a disclaimer on the Google app store and website clarifying that Houzify had no connection with Houzz.
As reported by NextBigWhat earlier, Houzz did not stop with that and while the legal process was on it’s way, Houzz chose to use strong-arm tactics and filed a trademark infringement claim with Facebook, following which Facebook pulled down the Houzify’s business page.
Houzz earlier on Tuesday had claimed that they were committed to protecting their valuable brand and community from copycats through any available means, however, how can a US-based company that doesn’t have any approved trademark in India, call it or claim any infringement?