INDRP over generic/descriptive word, in legitimate use (ENOW.in)

The INDRP pending .IN domain disputes list was updated last week. The recent INDRPs allocated on 28 January 2020, mostly seemed to be based upon well known Trademarks, including CRABTREESTORE.IN, SHOPDISNEY.IN, SHOPDISNEY.CO.IN, ADITYABIRLA.IN, AVAST.NET.IN, INSTAGRAM.CO.IN, SAP-EDUCATION.IN.

But the only domain dispute (INDRP) “ENOW.in” would be something very interesting to watch out for, by our readers. We guess that the Complainant could be Bennett & Coleman Pvt Ltd, as they have pending application before Trademark Registry in two different classes (class 38 & 41) with status as Opposed. Otherwise there are no such result on Google,as to what rights they have in the term ‘ENOW’. (update: Some one reports that they had a TV program in the past on Bollywood)

Moreover, they already own similar domain such as enow.co.in. Previously they have been party to INDRP such as ETIMES.in (INDRP/993) and were successful but here the facts seems to be totally different here, as follows:

Dictionary word:

Collins dictionary here provides ENOW as a general word, meaning Enough. While it can also indicate prefix ‘E-‘ with generic word ‘Now’. ‘E-‘ is generally used as a prefix that stands for “electronic” and refers to information technologies, business, and almost anything connected to or transmitted over the Internet. Some examples of its use include e-business, e-commerce, e-book, and e-mail. (source). ENOW can be referred as a descriptive of online services rendered by Sarv.com.

It is evident from Trademark Registry records, that similar word EHOW is already registered in India as a Trademark. It does not matter how generally ENOW is used globally, but at least it proves it is not a distinctive. That is, Bennett & Coleman is not the first company to adopt the same. Prior to this, it was registered under class 16 by Polaris Software Lab Ltd in 2001.

It can be concluded that it is not a distinctive but a generic or descriptive word that seems to have been adopted by the Domain Owner of ‘enow.in’ in year 2010.

Legitimate Use: 

The domain name ENOW.in is redirected to SARV.com. Sarv.com appears to be a Technology Company into Website Hosting and Cloud Services mainly. While the disputed domain name has been registered since November 2010 and the Sarv.com also seems to have another domain name Enowindia.com and related Facebook page is also visible here with over 5200 likes.

While a look into the archives, very clearly proves legitimate use to which the domain name ENOWINDIA.com was put, way back in 2011-14, while Enow.in seems to be mostly redirected. Otherwise also ENOW seems to be used for some IP addresses (here) and ns1.enowindia.com for name servers, as per the public information here.

This information also indicates that email ID netadmin [@] enow.in is in use.  The use of the email ID related to domain name, also implies Legitimate Interest. In a similar matter of Transtar.in [INDRP/803], it was held: “disputed domain name “transtar.in” has been used as an email address ([email protected]) and the website is in the process of development and will be online soon. This was held as positive information of a legitimate, planned use.

Redirection: 

On the visit at the disputed domain name ENOW.in, we are redirected to website of Sarv.com. It has been held in a matter of  Masterpay.co.in  [INDRP/978] that was brought by MasterCard – “the redirection of a website is very much a legitimate purpose”

Otherwise also there doesn’t seem to be any violation of trademark, registered or pending seems to have been made by the owner at ENOW.in. Though under class 42, Bennett & Coleman seems to own Trademark ‘ET NOW’ but that doesn’t seem to be in competition with ENOW, as ETNOW is purely a business news service and nowhere is into providing any technology services.

That is, it is a clear case of legitimate Interest and no Bad Faith can be concluded, as ENOW and ET Now are no way competing and in any case, Trademark issues are better dealt in the court of law but once legitimate interests are proved the Complaint needs to be dismissed, as was discussed in another article here.

DaaZ