What’s in a name? Everything, if you are Arun Jaitley.
The 57-year-old Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader may have failed to protect his party from defeat in the 2009 general elections, but he has fared better in protecting his own name.
One of the BJP’s top leaders, Jaitley has joined the hallowed list of individuals — Anil Ambani, Julia Roberts and Madonna among others — after the Delhi High Court on Tuesday temporarily restrained American companies Networks Solutions and M/S Portfolio Brains from advertising, using or auctioning the domain name, ‘www.arunjaitley.com’.
The Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha and known for devising incisive poll strategies for his party, Jaitley was forced to move court after he failed to register a domain with his name.
Network Solutions had reportedly shown www.arunjaitley.com as a domain which was ‘pending deletion’ to begin with, but later put it up for auction at a hefty price tag of USD 14,445 (Rs 7,00,000 approximately).
When Jaitley requested the firm to transfer the domain to him, he was asked to participate in the auction.
Jaitley’s lawyer Pratibha M. Singh argued before Justice S. Muralidhar that the name ‘Arun Jaitley’ was exclusively associated with her client.
“In public perception, whenever the name of Arun Jaitley is mentioned it is immediately identified and related with him and no one else. The name being unusual is entitled to a very high degree of protection,” Singh told the court.
“In fact, a Google search for the said name does not throw up any other result except that of the BJP leader on all the 61 pages,” Singh said.
“The name ‘Arun Jaitley’ is a protectable name which is exclusively identified with the petitioner. The petitioner
being a public persona enjoys rights in his image, voice, persona and other personal attributes including his name. The same is protectable under the law of privacy as also under the law of publicity,” Jaitley’s petition stated.