Online services major Rediff.com India Ltd has won a cybersquatting dispute against a Pakistani person, who was using an identical domain name and illegally incorporating the Indian firm's trademark.
Daniyal Waseem of Quetta in Pakistan was using the domain name 'rediffpk.com'. To this, the Nasdaq-listed Indian firm had contended that the disputed Internet site was identical in part and confusingly similar as a whole to the 'Rediff' trademark, for which it has rights.
Cybersquatting is the practice of illegally buying and registering an address, which is the name of an existing company or a well-known brand or person, on the Internet.
To restrain the Pakistani person for using the trademark, the Mumbai-based Internet portal service provider had approached a Geneva-based World Intellectual Property Organisation on March 6 this year.
The WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Centre, a part of the United Nations, found that the respondent (Waseem) has no rights with regard to the domain name, and the registered site was being used in bad faith.
Syed Naqiz Shahabuddin, the sole panelist of the centre, ordered that the disputed domain be transferred to Rediff.
WIPO is the UN's specialised agency for developing a balanced and accessible international system in the field of intellectual property rights.
As per details available with the WIPO, the respondent acknowledged Rediff's rights to the trademark and was willing to be affiliated with it.
"...it was always the intent of the respondent to leverage off the complainant's goodwill by using the Rediff trademark, and it did not possess any rights or legitimate interests to the disputed domain name," Rediff had said in its argument.
This is not first time that Rediff.com has faced a cybersquatting dispute. According to Pravin Anand, lawyer with legal firm Anand and Anand, it has faced over 10 such cases at WIPO in the past. Anand and Anand represented Rediff.com at the WIPO.
The name 'Rediff.com' was adopted by the company in 1996. It has registered the trademark REDIFF.COM and other REDIFF prefix marks such as REDIFF MAIL and REDIFF BOL on a worldwide basis, including the US and India.
Rediff.com India Ltd provides various online and e-commerce services, including email, news, shopping, chat, messenger and stock market updates.