Television Food Network wins domain dispute


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The respondent in the INDRP case of defended but lost the domain dispute to Television Food Network. One of the arguments made by the respondent was that "Food Network" is a dictionary keyword. This is similar to the argument made by the respondent in the WIPO case of (this respondent also lost his case).

The complainant disagreed that these are mere dictionary words and argued that FOOD NETWORK is a registered trademark which has become exclusively associated with the complainant.

Another assertion made by the respondent was that "the Complainant has registered the service mark 'recently' with a view to usurp the Respondent's domain name." However, from what I can tell, the date of the Indian TM application was 2003 and it matured to registration in 2006 (I think the respondent registered his domain in 2005).

The respondent stated that the domain was being used in good faith to promote Indian food.

In the Arbitrator's view, the Respondent has not offered any plausible or credible explanation for his adoption of a domain name which is identical/confusingly similar to the Complainant's registered mark. The Respondent has merely stated that he is entitled to do so because he is of Indian origin and that he wishes to promote Indian food. The Arbitrator finds that this explanation is insufficient to establish the Respondent's rights in the mark FOOD NETWORK, or his bona fides in adoption.
What are your views on this decision - do you agree or disagree with it? I think there was an element of risk in owning as the FOOD NETWORK mark seems to be quite famous.


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