The conflict between the rival factions of Spartan Poker is set to turn ugly, with Pokerguru led faction planning to file a lawsuit against the Indian Poker Championship (IPC) – faction of Spartan Poker.
A public notice was posted on SpartanPoker.com on December 4, stating the Pokerguru had no control over the operations of Spartan Poker. Hours later, the IPC-led faction claimed that they were the true owners of Spartan Poker and had changed the domain name to TheSpartanPoker.com.
On the following day, Rohit Bhalla (Pokerguru) was removed as the director of Quadrific Media. 3 days after his removal, the IPC-led faction of Spartan Poker floated a new company, Spartan Online Private Ltd, which appears to be operating the new website TheSpartanPoker.com
In light of these drastic changes in ownership and management of Spartan Poker, questions pertinent to intellectual property rights and corporate governance norms remain unanswered; one of them includes the transfers of assets and liabilities, including player deposits and reserves from Quadrific Media to Spartan Online.
Another important issue is the whether the removal of Rohit Bhalla as a director of as the director of Quadrific media was legal and whether he was served a notice of removal and was provided with an opportunity to be heard. The resolution passed by Quadrific Media remains perfunctory in nature and the details relevant to his removal and nature of the opportunity given to him remains equivocal.
Perhaps the most pivotal issue is the ownership of the intellectual property and trademark related to the ‘Spartan Poker’ brand. It remains unclear as to which faction is the owner of the trademark and property rights of the brand.
Until now, the applications of both factions has not been approved. This indicates that there might be a lengthy battle for the ownership of the Spartan Poker brand.
IPC-led faction head Rajat Agarwal refused to give any comments.
“If and when details have to be mentioned (regarding the dispute), the same would be made public on SpartanPoker.com” said Agarwal.
In light of these events, the online poker in India is likely to witness a long-drawn protracted litigation.
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