Indian dating site tries reverse domain hijacking

Industry Information 09 Dec 2023 01:12:28 PM By:DN platform editor
Abstract:

Recently, according to reports from foreign media: an Indian matrimonial website has been discovered attempting reverse domain hijacking of the domain jodii.com, which is owned by the competitor Matrimony.com. The complainant in this

Recently, according to reports from foreign media: an Indian matrimonial website was found attempting to reverse domain hijack the domain jodii.com, which is owned by the competitor Matrimony.com.

"Jodi" is a term in Hinduism referring to a pair or couple, commonly used by many matrimonial websites.

Indian dating site tries reverse domain hijacking

The complainant in this case is Luxury India Solutions PVT. LTD., operating the website JodiSearch.com. They argue that jodii.com is very similar to their trademarks JodiSearch.com and JodiSearch Matrimonial, causing confusion.

Considering the meaning of "Jodi," they failed to demonstrate that the domain jodii.com is confusingly similar to their trademarks.

Shwetasree Majumder, a member of the World Intellectual Property Organization expert panel, found this case to be maliciously brought. The panel listed four reasons, which I have reordered below as two of them indicate that the complainant clearly failed to check the registration date of the domain. The first one:

Indian dating site tries reverse domain hijacking

1. Complainants represented by lawyers should recognize the weaknesses of their cases and acknowledge that the disputed domain and its mark, the word "jodi" in JODISEARCH.COM, are generic terms. The complainant acknowledges the commonality of the term "JODI" in trade, while simultaneously claiming the reputation and goodwill of the complainant's JODI trademark. Given the commitments in UDRP Rules paragraphs 3(b)(xiii) and (xiv), past expert panels have considered that complainants with representation should adhere to a higher standard.

2. The complainant is well aware of the respondent's rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain. The respondent brought to the complainant's attention a court order dated July 14, 2022, from the Madras High Court in India in CS(Comm.Div) No.122 of 2021. FreeElective Network Private Limited vs. M/s.Matrimony.com Limited (respondent). In this order, the court made a favorable ruling for the respondent and held that the plaintiff had the right to protect the composite trademark JODI365 but not the "Jodi" element. The complainant chose to ignore/evade this judicial precedent, which is essential to the respondent's rights on their business website www.jodii.com.

The other two points worth further investigation:

1. Given that the disputed domain was registered before the complainant obtained trademark rights, the complainant knew or should have known that the respondent was not acting in bad faith. The disputed domain jodii.com was registered in 2010, while the complainant obtained the JODISEARCH.COM trademark rights and began operations in 2014. The expert panel speculates that this is the reason the complainant artfully avoids mentioning the registration date of the disputed domain in their complaint.

2. The complainant made false statements, claiming that the "disputed domain is identical to a domain previously registered by the complainant, jodisearch.com," attempting to mislead the expert panel. The complainant is well aware that their domain was registered on November 12, 2014, not before the disputed domain, which was registered on July 24, 2010.

While the domain was indeed registered in 2010, it appears that the respondent acquired the domain much later. Historical Whois records show that the respondent purchased the domain in 2021.

However, the complainant did not object to this and seems to be operating on the assumption that the domain was registered before any trademark rights related to "jodi."

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Indian dating site tries reverse domain hijacking