GrabTaxi Holdings is reportedly facing a lawsuit over an alleged agreement that both GrabTaxi Holdings and a local firm had over the Indonesian Internet domain name of “grab.co.id”.
As reported by TODAY Online, the agreement is that GrabTaxi Holdings agreed to acquire the domain name for US$250,000 from 3 Corporate Services, a local company that offers business management consultancy services and manages web portals. However, the local company is now seeking losses and damages from GrabTaxi Holdings after it said that GrabTaxi Holdings refused to follow through with the agreement.
In a released High Court documents, the civil suit was filed in July last year.
Niru & Co LLC, the legal team behind GrabTaxi Holdings argue that the 3 Corporate Services was engaged in cyber-squatting activities.
Cyber-squatting is known as the practice of registering names as Internet domains of well-known companies or brands looking to resell and profit from them. GrabTaxi Holdings said that the company purposely “squats” the “identical or confusingly similar name, trademark or service mark” belonging to Grab.
The chronology of the event dates back to July 2017, when GrabTaxi Holdings’ head of partnerships Shawn Heng allegedly got in touch about the unicorn’s interest in buying the domain name grab.co.id in a phone call with Mark Ho, a director and sole shareholder of 3 Corporate Services.
At that time, Ho allegedly told Heng that the firm did not register grab.co.id, but it could help transfer the domain name to GrabTaxi Holdings. The conversation then continued over WhatsApp, resulting in an alleged written agreement on July 22, 2017, that 3 Corporate Services was to procure the transfer of the domain name from Top 3 Media to GrabTaxi for US$250,000.
3 Corporate Services, represented by Selvam LLC, then was informed in September 2018 that GrabTaxi would not go through with the agreement.
GrabTaxi Holdings responded in its court filings that it did not accept 3 Corporate Services’ sale offer at all, as the offer was subject to certain pre-conditions, one of them is that 3 Corporate Services must own the domain name at the time the offer was accepted.
3 Corporate Services denied such requirement in the agreement.
To make matter even muddier, GrabTaxi Holdings is also accusing that 3 Corporate Services, along with Top 3 Media, to extort big companies and personalities for domain names that referred to these well-known entities.
Some names even emerged in GrabTaxi’s accusations, such as “Go-Jek.com.sg”, “Amywinehouse.com.sg”, “ToyotaHarrier.com.sg”, and “f1Auto.sg”, all denied by 3 Corporate Services.
3 Corporate Services claimed that Top 3 Media is in the business of branding, website design and digital marketing, and its Indonesian arm “Grab Indonesia” had been in operation since 2013 while Grab only branded itself as so in 2016.
The trial for the civil suit is scheduled in June this year.