WhiteHat Jr claims that the accused has infringed trademarks and copyright.
WhiteHat Jr Defamation Case
Online coding platform WhiteHat Jr, one of the latest online teaching sensations amidst Covid-19 lockdown in India, has filed a defamation case against an engineer.
The CEO, Karan Bajaj, has claimed that Pradeep Poonia, who is an active critic of the firm, has made aggressive and abusive remarks on the firm.
According to the case file, the engineer has criticised the firm for its marketing strategy, quality of classes and negative response to feedback. The firm is parented by India’s second most valuable startup, i.e. Byju’s.
According to the lawsuit, WhiteHat Jr is seeking $2.6 million (approx. 20 Crores) in damages. The company claims that Poonia has infringed trademarks and copyright of properties. He also spread defaming and misleading information about the startup.
It is also mentioned that he accessed the company’s private communications app.
The lawsuit also accuses Poonia of publicly sharing phone numbers of WhiteHat Jr employees. His comparison of startup’s marketing tactics to “child sexual abuse” has also creeped into the suit.
Company lawyers also claim that he recorded sessions of some classes. He went on to ask questions that were not relevant to the course and humiliated the teachers. These recordings were then posted online.
Wordings in Lawsuit
The suit mentions:
“As some of the one-on-one communications between the Plaintiffs’ teachers and the Defendant have demonstrated, the former have felt extremely threatened and harassed by the Defendant which is even more pertinent given that the Plaintiffs’ entire workforce of 11,000 teachers is female.”
“The Defendant’s activities have critically affected the Plaintiffs’ business and resulted in loss of its goodwill and reputation, and the confidence of its customers in its business. It is submitted that as a consequence of the Defendant’s tweets, Plaintiffs have suffered a steep dip in the conversion rate from trial classes to actual registrations which has severely affected its revenue.”
Criticism against Case
Many have poked fun on the grammatical and spelling errors in the lawsuit. Also, remarks are out that the firm could not handle even little criticisms, which any firm is bound to face.
Unauthorised sources have made claims that the firm has aggressively used copyright protection to take down criticisms.
The suit also raises self-stabbing concern that Poonia has accused WhiteHat Jr of “murdering” an imaginary kid that featured in one of its earlier ads.
A 12-year-old child named “Wolf Gupta” appeared in earlier ads of WhiteHat Jr. The ad claimed that the kid had received a lucrative job at Google.
The lawyers of the firm mention in the suit that such a kid doesn’t exist. Ironically, the same was the argument of Poonia. He had spent a long time unearthing information on this poster child of WhiteHat Jr.
Thus, the outcome is crucial to all students and parents, whose belief is such claims made by teaching firms has skyrocketed over the past few years.