WIPO panellist orders transfer of Indian jewellery domain name


In Ravissant Limited v Vama Inc, World Intellectual Property Organization panellist Alan L Limbury has ordered the transfer of the domain name 'eravissant.com' to Indian retail chain Ravissant. Limbury held that the domain name, which had been registered by Vama, is confusingly similar to Ravissant's trademark RAVISSANT.

Vama, an importer and distributor of handicrafts and silver gifts, had registered and used the disputed domain name to sell Indian jewellery. The California-based company had a clear connection with India through its incorporator, agent and vice president, Mehulkumar Kotecha.

Limbury found that Vama was aware of Ravissant's mark when it registered 'eravissant.com'. It had used the domain name to offer goods of a similar kind to those with which Ravissant's mark was associated, and in such a way that customers were misled into believing that its goods and website were those of Ravissant.

Limbury ruled that the addition of the prefix 'e' to the mark was insignificant and did not prevent the domain name from being confusingly similar to Ravissant's mark (see Inter-IKEA Systems v Technology Education Centre and Busy Body v Fitness Outlet). He held that Ravissant had proved (i) substantial use of the company name as a trademark in connection with jewellery, and (ii) the reputation of the mark in India and other countries. Vama's actions constituted both bad-faith registration and use under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy.

Rodney D Ryder, Anand & Anand, New Delhi

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