India's 'King of Retail' Wins Domain

Ceres

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Many articles refer to Kishore Biyani as India's King of Retail. Mr. Biyani is the founder and CEO of Future Group of Companies, which include businesses such as Pantaloon and Big Bazaar.

Mr. Biyani recently won the domain KishoreBiyani.com in a WIPO dispute. What's important to note is that even if a personal name is not a registered trademark, common law trademark rights can be acquired if the name is used in trade or commerce.

The name of the Complainant Kishore Biyani keeps on appearing now and then in various newspapers and web articles. By use of name of the Complainant in the commercial ventures and trade, it has associated with the business of the Complainant and acquired unregistered trademark rights for the purpose of paragraph 4 (a) (i) of the policy.
Although the respondent did not file a formal response, it did send a few emails to WIPO.

In email dated October 20, 2009, the Respondent has admitted that he is ready to transfer the domain name and stated: “I am still wishing to give you this domain, but can you pay me remuneration’s and cost + efforts which I made for getting ranked well on Google and promoting his information.”
As mentioned before, owning a domain that includes a first name and surname can be risky if that name is used in trade or commerce. I notice KishoreBiyani.com was being monetised by Google ads and therefore it was unlikely a 'non-commercial' website.

While the present case seems meritorious, the same cannot be said for some of the other cases brought by related company Pantaloon...
 
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