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In today’s scenario we see a lot of startups which are completely based out on their online identity that identity is their domain name wherein a lot of information is conveyed to their target customers, so basically you are what your web name shows you.
In a way your online identity is very much a quintessential part of your business. So how to protect that identity of your, lets understand it in context of generic names and its dangerous implications.
We see a lot of domains that use common words or dictionary words such as shaadi.com, naukri.com, commonfloor.com.
These all are very very famous domains having their established identity in market at large, but are they really protected?
Let us try to understand this by taking a real case law study.
In recent case of Peoples interactive (I) Pvt ltd. Vs Vivek pahwa. So what happened in this case, Peoples interactive (I) Pvt ltd company owning the matrimonial website shadi.com filed a case against the owner of another matrimonial website of Mr. Vivek pahwa the secondshaadi.com .
The basis of the plaintiff is that the owner of website seconshaadi.com is trying to misuse the reputation of website shadi.com, which is already an established domain name having a vast consumer base. And as both shadi.com and secondshaadi.com are working in same field so there is a legitimate reason for the company to believe that secondshaadi.com might create a confusion among the target customer regarding the origin and source of services they are providing and the secondshaadi.com may leverage over the reputation established by the shaadi.com.
So, by reading the above paragraph one might think oh yes! The contention of company owning the shadi.com is right and yes they shall get an injunction against the secondshadi.com.
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But here’s a catch! shaadi.com LOST the case. And reason is because SHAADI is a generic word, it a word which is used by general public at large on day to day basis. So no one can actually own it or monopolize this word.
This is what was expected and this is what we always tell you before building and spending crores and crores over a brand please take look and analyze that can you fully own your brand ever, you got to read the Trademark law and other intellectual property rights meticulously in order to build and sustain a brand .
Even if your brand name is available always understand that trademark registration in India do not allow monopoly over common names, generic names and names that are common dictionary names.
Apart from conducting your trademark search also take an opinion about the scope of its legal protection.
Complete Judgement of Peoples interactive (I) Pvt ltd. Vs Vivek pahwa - https://indiankanoon.org/doc/9121927/
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