Karur Vysya Bank loses Complaint against registrant of www.karurvysyabank.com!
Karur Vysya Bank(KVB), one of the leading private sector banks in India has been denied relief by the Arbitration and Mediation panel of the WIPO.
Karur vysya bank, the complainant in the instant case, was set up in the year 1916. It has registered a number of domain names such as <kvb.co.in>, <karurvysya.com>, <thekarurvysyabank.com>, etc.
It is also the registered proprietor of the trademark ‘KVB’ bearing Application No. 1145374 in the office of the Trademarks Registry, Chennai.
KVB filed a Complaint with the WIPO against registration of the domain name <karurvysyabank.com> by one Lakhsmi Narasimha and prayed for transfer of the said domain name.
KVB submitted that it had exclusive rights to the trademark /domain name “Karur Vysya Bank”. It alleged that the respondent adopted the said domain name only with a dishonest intention to cash upon on the reputation and goodwill of KVB.
Though the Panel observed that the complainant’s rights in the registered trademark would bolster the chance of relief under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy, the complainant was the registered proprietor of the trademark ‘KVB’ alone. They had no Trademark registration or any Pending Application for the expression “KARUR VYSYA BANK” per se .
The Panel expressed that KVB also did not expressly claim rights under common law whereby they could have alleged that the respondents were passing off their services as from KVB. KVB also did not submit commensurate proof to affirm the fact that the confusingly similar expression ‘KARUR VYSYA BANK’ has acquired immense reputation to the extent that general public associate the mark only with KVB.
Hence the centre adjudicated that KVB failed to prove that it had rights in the deceptively similar domain name and subsequently denied the complaint!
This Order from the WIPO proves the need for online companies to Audit their Intellectual Property Portfolio. An IP Audit would have analysed the Intellectual Property Rights that vests with KVB and would also have suggested ways to obtain complete protection of its Intellectual Property Rights.
Domain Name Disputes India, are India’s first consultants dealing exclusively with Online Brand Protection & Domain Name Disputes. Domain Name Disputes India offers its clients detailed online brand protection strategies and solutions to protect them from online frauds, cybersquatting, sale of counterfeit goods etc., To know more, please visit www.domaindisputesindia.com., call me @ +91 9840477744 or mail me at [email protected]
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