INDRP Proceeding: Bloomberg.net.in

Ceres

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Bloomberg Finance won the domain Bloomberg.net.in in an INDRP case. You can read the full decision here.

Some highlights from the case:

  • Respondent stated he was part of "Bloomberg Computers," a company located in Nagpur, India (dealing with computer hardware and networking equipment since 2002).

  • Respondent stated he did not do business on the Internet, but used the domain for email and for helpdesk purposes.

  • There were no links on the website or diversion of traffic (default webpage stated "powered by Bloomberg").

  • Complainant owns the trademark BLOOMBERG in over 95 countries, including India.

Some of the reasons why the respondent lost domain:

  • Although the respondent provided details of sales tax registration (which had "Bloomberg Computers" on it), the Panel stated the respondent had not provided sufficient evidence to show use of "Bloomberg" as a service mark.

  • Respondent did not provide evidence showing use of the domain for email or helpdesk purposes.

  • Respondent registered the domain in 2007, which is well after the complainant's adoption of the use of Bloomberg.

  • Bloomberg is a very strong and well-known mark.

  • Respondent did not offer any valid explanation as to how he hit upon and adopted the word Bloomberg as part of his trade name.

The panel stated that:

The Respondent should have done due diligence before registering the domain name incorporating the mark "Bloomberg" of the Complainant.
You probably noticed that "Bloomberg Computers" is in a different area of business than "Bloomberg Finance." It's important to remember that under Section 2 (1) (zg) of the Trademarks Act, 1999 well-known marks get special protection (it doesn't matter if different goods and services are being used by the other party).

In any event, (even if Bloomberg wasn't a strong trademark, and even though Bloomberg is also a surname), I think not explaining the company's connection to the name "Bloomberg" probably hurt the respondent's case. How popular is the name Bloomberg in India?

What do you think of the decision?
 
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