The New Delhi National Internet Exchange of India Domain Dispute Policy Arbitration Tribunal has ruled that the Khadi and Village Industries Commission is the legitimate owner of the ‘Khadi’ and ‘Khadi India’ trademarks.
A private entity had contended in court that Khadi is a generic word, ET Bureau reported. However, the New Delhi court rejected this contention and stated that the use of the well-known brand name by any other entity would most likely confuse consumers and could lead to deception by other businesses.
The case followed a complaint filed by KVIC against Delhi-based entrepreneur Jitendra Jain and others for registering and using a domain name titled ‘khadi.in’. KVIC argued that Jain had registered the domain name in bad faith.
“The impugned domain name is identical and confusingly similar to a named trademark as well as a service mark in which the KVIC has a right,” said the court arbitrator, the Press Trust of India reported.
The court ruled to transfer the domain name to KVIC and permanently prevented Jain and his associates from using the brand name ‘Khadi’. “It is an undisputed fact that KVIC, the complainant, is the legitimate owner of the trademark ‘Khadi’/ ‘Khadi India’ and has acquired ownership in terms of the provisions of Section 17 of the Trade Marks Act 1999,” said the arbitrator.
“KVIC will not spare any effort to prevent any misuse of the brand name ‘Khadi’ as it has a direct bearing on the livelihood of our artisans who are making genuine handcrafted products in remote parts of India,” said KVIC chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena, the Press Trust of India reported. “KVIC will continue to take stern action against individuals or firms misusing the brand name Khadi. This is to safeguard the interest of Khadi artisans and prevent the sale of any spurious product in the name of Khadi.”
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