The Delhi Supreme Court on Thursday took Google’s position in a lawsuit brought by an online gaming app against the search engine giant’s policy of allowing only daily fantasy sports (DFS) and rummy games on its app store Google Play, while all other real money games.
Judge Prathiba M Singh asked Google to submit its response to the plea, requesting injunctive relief, noting that the issue of the sustainability of the lawsuit needed further consideration before the Supreme Court’s Intellectual Property Rights Division (IRP).
“The issue of net neutrality is also raised by the plaintiff. Therefore, issue a notice,” the court said during the hearing of the plea that also called for interim measures.
Senior counsel Amit Sibal, acting for plaintiff Winzo Games, said the Google policy, which was scheduled to be rolled out on Sept. 28 as a pilot program, amounted to unfair trading because it deliberately excluded its application, which also offered games of skill to users, along with a number of others.
He said that Winzo was a leading name in the gaming world, offering various skill games such as chess and 8-ball pool, and that the turnover in the past fiscal year was more than Rs. 100 crores.
Senior attorney Sajan Poovayya, who represents the defendant Google and other related parties, objected to the tenability of the lawsuit, alleging that it was not about IPR or Information Technology Act issues, but those of trade and commerce.
He said Google Play, which previously never provided a platform for “money-in, money-out” games, introduced DFS and rummy because the Supreme Court declared the two games of skill.
He added that Google Play was not the only app store in the Android market.
The court noted that since Winzo also offered DFS and rummy, she was free to launch those two games independently on a separate app and then apply to Google to include them in the app store.
The case was to be heard in November.