Indian Company Sues Google re AdWords Program

Ceres

New Member
It's not the first case in which Google has been sued due to trademarked keywords showing up on its AdWords Program. However, I think the latest company to sue Google is overreaching....

Consim Info (formerly BharatMatrimony) owns popular websites such as BharatMatrimony.com and TamilMatrimony.com. According to MediaNama, Consim has been granted an interim junction against Google at the Madras High Court. The temporary injunction stops Google from allowing Consim's competitors from advertising on the AdWords Program using Consim's "trademarked" terms.

Trademarking the domain "TamilMatrimony.com" is one thing. However, it seems to me that Consim is trying to obtain a monopoly over generic terms such "Tamil Matrimony" and "Telugu Matrimony." What's even more worrisome is this paragraph from the Medianama article:

Janakiraman declined to comment - saying that we're digging too deep - on whether the company is planning to trademark names of 250 odd domains which they announced recently under the name CommunityMatrimony.com, including several India centric keywords like like AgarwalMatrimony, BrahminMatrimony, KayasthaMatrimony etc.

You can see the long list of domains here. Again, trademarking these domains is one thing, however I wouldn't be surprised if Consim is going to try and claim a monopoly over these generic terms as well.

What's ironic is that Consim is guilty of the same thing they are accusing their competitors of.

BTW, last year Consim won the domain TamilMatrimony.co.in in an INDRP dispute. Looking back at that case, I'm now wonder if Consim actually owns a registered trademark for "Tamil Matrimony" or whether it's "TamilMatrimony.com" and/or "TamilMatrimony.in" that they own. The INDRP decision does not have enough information on this, which is frustrating.

Consim is also suing JeevanSathi.com, Shaadi.com and SimplyMarry.com, ie. their competitors.

Please share your thoughts.
 
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Doc

Member
The above mentioned domains may be trademarked but how can a TM be obtained for generic term "tamil matrimony" or any other as such . These people seem to be going nuts . If this is the case they will be soon suing the leading newspapers TOI , HT etc. as well as many web portals.
Trademarking a domain is fine but not thje generic terms. Though matrimony / wedding etc. is a big business , this goes out a bit too far.

Sometime in the future someone will claim TM (greasing some palms reqd.) on the term bharat/tamil/brahmin etc. and go after them as to why they have it in their name ;)
 
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We think Bharat Matrimony is going wrong and doing the same mistakes which few years ago "INFOSYS" and ""______" (we have just edited this post to delete the name written here because CEO of this company said not to publish their reference here as in Tamil Matrimony case they are also party and it may came in the way of court proceedings) did ?

In both, above cases, once these company got trademark they went on to file cases on domain holders and companies using such term as if they granted monopoly on these terms ?

But in both above cases they restrain by courts in India for using these terms as exclusive to their own , Trademark granted to these companies to safeguard their interest and not to take away others right in generic terms?

If someone files before the TradeMark registry for cancellation of these trademark of Bharat Matrimony , we are sure they will loose TM too. And we are sure that Indian TM registry not granted them any exclusive right.

We will check tomorrow TM Registry database and let you know that any exceptions are granted on these trademark by TM Registry. As TM Registry when grants such terms (like Tamil Matrimony) as TM they clearly mentions on TM certificate that so and so words are not given exclusive right on that.

We just have talk with two companies CEO who are party in Tamil Matrimony case they informed that case are kept for hearing on 5th Oct. and after hearing their side of story and case details we are helping them to get them TM search data and other required material, it seems this case result will help domain owners in India in future. Just wait. we too are filing objection before TM registry for some of their TM as few of them are also used by us like AgarwalMatrimony.in and MatrimonyIndia.com.

PS : please note above post written without going into the details of the case, this is just first reaction to the report.
 
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Ceres

New Member
We will check tomorrow TM Registry database and let you know that any exceptions are granted on these trademark by TM Registry. As TM Registry when grants such terms (like Tamil Matrimony) as TM they clearly mentions on TM certificate that so and so words are not given exclusive right on that.

Thanks Mitsu - I'm looking forward to your update! It will be reassuring if we hear that the TM Registry didn't actually give Consim exclusive right to use "Tamil Matrimony" but only the right to use "TamilMatrimony.com" or "TamilMatrimony.in" etc.
 
Sorry ! Just gone through the details of the case and it says :

Consim said that it had <>“trademarked www.tamilmatrimony.com, www.telegumatrimony, www.bharatrimony.com, www.bengalimatrimony.com, www.muslimmatrimony.com. Hence, Google should not allow ads on those trademarksâ€Â.<>

so Bharat Matrimony's case is for If a user types <> ‘www.tamilmatrimony.com’ <> in the Google search field, it throws up Ad links to websites like shaadi.com and simplymarry.com. The company has approached the court saying Google should not allow its competition to be linked to the trademarks of BharatMatrimony or use the trademark as their heading.

If you go from above perspective then Bharat Matrimony is right (as their TM is 'www.tamilmatrimony.com’ and some one is typing exact term) but if they claim exclusivity on term TAMIL MATRIMONY then they are wrong. If Google show advt.on term 'TAMIL MATRIMONY' and Bharat matrimony objects to same then they are wrong as their trademark is different then the search term.
 
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Ceres

New Member
Mitsu, I don't know that Consim is only talking about users searching their domain name as it's my understanding that Consim also wants Google to remove terms like 'Tamil matrimony' and 'Telugu matrimony' from its keywords suggestion tool. See:

The case is not just related to matrimony domain names but also to the specific matrimony keywords related to matrimonial business owned by Consiminfo. Thus Consim wants its competitors and specially Google in general to even avoid competitive advertising for terms like ‘Tamil matrimony’, ‘Telegu matrimony’, etc by asking Google to remove the alleged terms from its key words suggestion tool programme.
Source: WATBlog.com

I suppose things will become clearer once we receive more information.
 
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we have gone through the case papers and it seems that Bharat Matrimony is relying on TM which is more or less the domain name. For security reason we are not keeping court order copy here but we are giving the copy of TM Bharat Matrimony relying on ?.
 

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Ceres

New Member
Thanks for the document Mitsu. So if I understand correctly, Consim (aka BharatMatrimony) owns Indian trademarks such as:

TAMILMATRIMONY
TELUGUMATRIMONY
URDUMATRIMONY
(ie with the words together).

However, they don't own trademarks for the generic terms:
TAMIL MATRIMONY
TELUGU MATRIMONY
URDU MATRIMONY
(ie separate words / generic terms)

Have I understood correctly? Did Consim have to disclaim exclusive use of these terms in the trademark applications?
 
We have check all trademark today (which was part of case) and find that they have all TM word together only and we have check their other details and found that TM registry has not given any exclusive right comments as these words they file as single word . So their uses are restricted to JOINT WORD ONLY and that is the distinctiveness of these trademark.

They have several other applications are pending and in some applications they file separate words, and even in one application we find that "BHARAT MATRIMONY.COM". See the space between Bharat and matrimony.com, we donot understand what purpose it will serve ? Link of this TM JOURNAL.(Right click to download and then see, it is a big document)

See one of the TM Journal which have their advertisement and search the same with word "Matrimony" you will find them and also try one more word for search i.e. "exclusive" and see the results you will see how exclusive use comments appear in TM Journal, same will give you understanding of the subject in detail.
 
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Ceres

New Member
Thanks Mitsu, the information is very helpful.

They have several other applications are pending and in some applications they file separate words, and even in one application we find that "BHARAT MATRIMONY.COM". See the space between Bharat and matrimony.com, we donot understand what purpose it will serve

Yes exactly, what purpose will it serve? I think the above is a sneaky attempt by Consim to try and claim rights over the generic words "BHARAT MATRIMONY". I hope the Indian TM Registry does something about this.

As the injunction against Google is a temporary one, I assume there will be another hearing soon. It will be interesting to learn Google's response to this case....
 

Doc

Member
whatever Consim is doing is ethically wrong , even if they trademark the generic words (either separately or together ) it is practically wrong since these are used by a large majority of indians on a regular basis.
If they were just applying for trademark of the domain name along with the ext. ; that would be completely justified as it's a business.But TM'g just the plain terms either separate/together is not correct.
Speaking of this , i got GoaMatrimony in .com a couple of days back. ;) Will just have to monitor this thread regularly :)
 
In court hearing finally the injection in VACATED by court and Google can run advertisement on TM keywords as it was running before, next hearing is kept on 4th Nov., 2009.

It seems it is a great news and another great news is that Google and other respondents are filling rectification of TM of Bharat Matrimony before TM registry and same will be biggest blow for Bharat Matrimony and will be a landmark judgment .

Added later :
Above news was given to us by one of the respondent in case but we got this link also which is still playing safe :
Link of news Article
 
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Ceres

New Member
Google and other respondents are filling rectification of TM of Bharat Matrimony before TM registry and same will be biggest blow for Bharat Matrimony and will be a landmark judgment .

I am very happy to read that Google and others are challenging the trademarks. Consim/BharatMatrimony should not be allowed exclusive right to use generic terms.

IMHO, there are many other marks on the TM register that should be challenged or exclusive use disclaimers should be inserted (eg. some of Pantaloon's marks), but that's another can of worms to be opened...
 
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