A technology company based in India with more than $10 billion in revenue has filed a federal lawsuit charging trademark infringement against a Long Island company with a similar name that is a tiny fraction of its size.
Infosys Ltd., India’s 20th largest company based on 2016 revenue, according to The Economic Times of India, filed the lawsuit last week against Plainview-based Infosys International Inc., which took on that name 27 years ago.
Raj Mehta, founder and chief executive of information technology consultancy at Infosys International, said he was surprised by the lawsuit.
Mehta wouldn’t disclose his privately held company’s revenue or head count. A Dun & Bradstreet Inc. report estimated it has 65 employees and annual revenue at $9.9 million as of June 2016.
At that revenue level, the local company would be one-one-thousandth the size of the Bangalore-based tech colossus, which had revenue of $10.2 billion in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2017.
“We’re a very small company compared to them,” Mehta said. “They’re all over.”
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Central Islip, said that Infosys Ltd. has been using the Infosys trademark and name in the United States “as early as 1981,” the year it was founded. The first client of Infosys Ltd. was a New York company that placed an order that year, the lawsuit said, giving Infosys Ltd., “common law rights” to the trademark.
Infosys Ltd. said in the lawsuit that it encountered confusion in the marketplace when it pursued business with the United Nations, New York State and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
The lawsuit, filed last week by Garden City-based Moritt Hock & Hamroff LLP, seeks a permanent injunction preventing Infosys International from using the name “Infosys” or “Infosys International” and employing the internet domain name “infosysinternational.com.”
The lawsuit also demands that Infosys International pay Infosys Ltd. past profits, court costs and unspecified damages.
Calls seeking comment from an Infosys Ltd. representative and from Moritt Hock were not immediately returned.
Irina D. Manta, professor of law and founding director of the Center for Intellectual Property Law at Hofstra University, said that many elements factor into trademark cases.
The court would have to judge the “likelihood of confusion” by potential clients and whether “there has been an unreasonable delay in bringing the suit,” Manta said in an email.
A series of trademark registrations by Infosys Ltd. beginning in 2006 give the Indian company standing to sue in federal court and could increase any monetary compensation, Manta said.
Mehta, however, said that it’s “crazy” to think that Infosys International is using trademark confusion to poach customers from Infosys Ltd.
“No one came to me and said, ‘Let me give you a big contract.’”
Infosys International’s 14,000-square-foot headquarters at 110 Terminal Dr. also houses offices of the not-for-profit Long Island Software & Technology Network and an incubator for startup companies known as a the “digital ballpark.”
The Long Island company has done projects for the Nassau County Department of Health and Human Services, Astoria Federal Savings & Loan (now Astoria Bank) and the U.S. armed services, according to its website.
Mehta joked that the giant Indian company could “buy me out. Then I can retire early.”