In an award passed on January 02, 2016 in a domain recovery complaint filed by Hola, S.L. against Viraj Malik, Percept Knorigin Solutions Pvt. Ltd., before the National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI), the Arbitrator held that the disputed domain name (hellotv.in) is similar to the well-known trade mark “HELLO!” of the Complainant, and the same be transferred to the Complainant.
The Complainant,Hola, S.L., is a company registered in Spain and a leading international publisher of magazines and periodicals. The Complainant filed a complaint with NIXI for recovery of the disputed domain name (hellotv.in) registered by the Respondent, as it incorporates the well-known and registered mark HELLO! of the Complainant. Contentions raised by the Complainant
- The Complainant launched an offshoot of its premier magazine HOLA having a historic coverage of 71 years of its publication under the mark HELLO! in the United Kingdom in 1987.
- The Complainant has obtained registrations of the aforesaid mark in a number of jurisdictions around the world including in India. The trade mark HELLO was registered under class 38 in India on December 08, 2003. Further the applications for the said mark alongwith the variation
‘HELLOTV!’ are pending in India in class 16 and classes 38 and 41 respectively.
- The Complainant has registered several domain names comprising its trade mark HELLO!. The Complainant registered the domain name (hellotv.com) on December 15, 1999.
- The Complainant’s HELLO! Magazine has print circulation of 10 lacs (1 million) copies every month.
- The trade mark HELLO!, on account of such extensive use and circulation throughout the world including in India, is exclusively identified with the complainant and its goods and business.
- The Respondent created the domain name (hellotv.in) in 2009, which is after the registration of the aforesaid trade mark and domain name of the Complainant.
- The Respondent’s domain name is identical to, and fully comprises, the mark in which the Complainant has prior statutory rights. Therefore, the said registration and continuous use of the domain name (hellotv.in) dilutes the trade mark of the Complainant and also damages in its reputation.
Contentions raised by the Respondent
- The Respondent registered the domain name (hellotv.in) on September 23, 2009.
- The Respondent is operating the corresponding website www.hellotv.in for making entertainment accessible to everyone. The website shows various categories of videos as per viewer’s ratings and categories, additionally allowing users to create their own videos and share them through the website.