GOAIR v. INDIGO (Are generic terms actually safe?)


We often believe that war is hell, but in reality there is a big difference between them. Hell has been interpreted by multiple religious texts in various different ways but they all have a same basic foundation, They all state that hell is a place for sinners but on the other hand war is something entirely different. In war the victims are not only the soldiers of fighting factions but also the innocent bystanders who had nothing to do with the war. Hence it would be safe to assume that war is worse than hell. If the innocents are put under the line of fire then it would always result in unnecessary casualty. Just like the innocent bystanders we have a similar kind of causalities which are increasing in numbers within our INDRP system. The motive of the INDRP was to protect the online businesses from the losses incurred by cyber squatters, but between the conflict many small scale business owners and investors are becoming the victim of this war, resulting in loss to their businesses. The motive of this article is to highlight the victims of this war against squatters, specially those who are not being recognized by the ones who swore to protect them but are being branded as the enemy.

The .in extension has been on a constant bullish rise for quite sometime now, it is being adopted by the population around the globe and has achieved a remarkable international reputation. Today the .in extension is a home to many big corps and airlines because the extension has proven to be seo friendly to viewers around the world. It is obvious that the growing reputation will attract more business owners and investors around the globe to invest in this extension, On going legal dispute between GoAir airlines and Indigo airlines is a good example to back the fact that many big corps are using .in extension for their main websites.

In the given dispute the plaintiff is GoAir airlines and defendant is Indigo airlines. The plaintiff filed the law suit against the defendant because the main website of the indigo airlines was using the domain “GoIndigo.in”. The plaintiff also dragged in google for the lawsuit but the cause is yet unclear. The plaintiff states that they have rights over the mark “GO”, hence they accuse Indigo airlines to lure the viewers to their website by using the domain “GoIndigo.in”. Now if we understand the dispute closely we can clearly see that GoAir has comparatively less chances to emerge as a decree holder since the the term “GO” is extremely generic. If GoAir wins this dispute then it would mean that they are capable of suing half of the world which would be unfair for others, since “GO” is an extremely used term. Similarly if the system fails to recognize the importance of generic terms then anyone can trademark a generic term and sue businesses associated with the disputed term. This would simply give rise to legal warfare. It means for example I could trademark “Airways” and sue half of the world’s airlines. Apparently the importance of generic terms are being well adopted by the organizations around the world, but unfortunately the system of INDRP is yet to learn about it. Currently while the INDRP defends multiple well established businesses from cyber squatters, it also adds small scale business owners and domain investors to the list of causalities. Often small scale business owners without trademarks are loose their domains in INDRP disputes, similarly domain investors are loosing their generic domains to the companies who are twisting the INDRP system to their own advantage. Some of the immediate things we can do in order to prevent further damage is to recognize the importance of generic domains along with the rights of domain investors. Perhaps introduction of new grounds to win an INDRP dispute could help lower the damage being dealt every year, like if a plaintiff claims the ownership of the trademark over a generic term then he/she must prove that how did his/her business inherit a secondary meaning to this generic term which would exclusively indicate towards plaintiff’s business. Many new reforms can be brought within the system to make it even more efficient. Most of all education of arbitrators is necessary regarding domain investment so they won’t simply compare domainers to cyber squatters, After all the war on the expense of high innocent casualties is a war without a just cause.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not necessarily reflect the views of Our.in and Our.in does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.


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