On 03 March 2017, Maruti Suzuki India Limited announced the launch of a new and improved version of Baleno model – Baleno RS, which was also showcased at Auto Expo 2016. And in no time, Maruti has proceeded to secure the Baleno.in and Baleno.co.in domain names under INDRP procedure by filing the Complaint with .IN Registry.
Under INDRP Proceedings the Complainant needs to prove all the following three conditions:
(i) the Registrant’s domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a name, trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights;
(ii) the Registrant has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and
(iii) the Registrant’s domain name has been registered or is being used in bad faith.
The Complainant company has secured the Baleno Trademark since 1992 by application dated 25 June 1987, under class 12 (Class 12 . Vehicles; apparatus for locomotion by land, air or water):
Both the domain names are owned by Indians and are being used genuinely for representing the Baleno Model of Maruti cars only, where one of the Domain very clearly mentions it as an Unofficial website. Though they have some social interaction in the form of comments on the Posts but aim to earn through Google Adsense revenue. The WHOIS of the Domain owners in the INDRP proceeding sis as follows:
1. Domain Name:BALENO.IN
Created On:22-Sep-2015 05:29:20 UTC
Last Updated On:10-Apr-2017 05:25:16 UTC
Expiration Date:22-Sep-2017 05:29:20 UTC
Sponsoring Registrar:Crazy Domains FZ-LLC (R160-AFIN)
Registrant Name:Rocket Hosting
Registrant Organization:Rocket Hosting
Registrant Street1:302 Kamdhenu CompleNr Toran Dining Hall Opp Sales India Income Tax
Registrant Postal Code:380019
Registrant Email: email@example.com
2. Domain Name:BALENO.CO.IN
Created On:27-Jan-2016 14:50:24 UTC
Last Updated On:10-Apr-2017 05:25:15 UTC
Expiration Date:27-Jan-2018 14:50:24 UTC
Sponsoring Registrar:Endurance Domains Technology Pvt. Ltd. (R173-AFIN)
Registrant Name:Ragini Shrivastava
Registrant Organization:Dream Info Corp
Registrant Street1:Behind Dharampur High School
Registrant Postal Code:848101
Registrant Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
One of the Domain carries a competitor AD that of Honda cars, which may go against it, but both have a chance to defend based upon the Fan Site UDRP overview, which is as follows:
2.5 Can a fan site generate rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name?
Many of the considerations used by panels in relation to criticism sites, also are applied by panels in relation to fan or tribute sites. Moreover, this section only deals with fan sites that are clearly active and noncommercial. There are many UDRP cases in which the respondent claims to have an active noncommercial fan site but the panel finds that it is primarily a pretext for commercial advantage.
View 1: The registrant of an active and noncommercial fan site may have rights and legitimate interests in the domain name that includes the complainant’s trademark. The site should be actually in use, clearly distinctive from any official site, and noncommercial in nature. Panels have found that a claimed fan site which includes pay-per-click (PPC) links or automated advertising would not normally be regarded as a legitimate noncommercial site. However, some panels have recognized that a degree of incidental commercial activity may be permissible in certain circumstances (e.g., where such activity is of an ancillary or limited nature or bears some relationship to the site’s subject).
View 2: A respondent does not have rights or legitimate interests in expressing its view, even if positive, on an individual or entity by using an identical or confusingly similar domain name, if the respondent is intentionally misrepresenting itself as being (or as in some way associated with) that individual or entity, or seeks to derive commercial advantage from its registration and use. Also, where the domain name is identical to the trademark, panels have noted that such respondent action prevents the trademark holder from exercising its rights to the trademark and managing its presence on the Internet.
Let’s see, whether the Respondent come forward to defend in the matter and how strong representation is, as most of the INDRPs are lost due to lack of proper presentation supported by past UDRP and INDRP decisions !