In a decision dated 11th August, WIPO Domain Dispute Arbitrator Pavan Duggal had ordered the transfer of the domain http://www.oktatabyebye.com (disputed domain) to Tata Sons (Complaint) from makemytrip.com(mmt) (Respondent), the travel & ticketing company, who hosted a online travel community allowing users to share their travel experience on the contested domain. Though the respondent (mmt) had argued that the common parlance “OK Ta Ta Bye Bye” was used as a farewell and that the disputed domain was not used in bad faith for deriving illegal benefits from the name TATA, the arbitrator ruled that the domain was confusingly similar to the mark ‘Tata’ and the respondent had no legitimate right to use the name. Moreover the Arbitrator had noted bad faith on the part of the respondent since the advertisement and offers on the home page of the disputed domain was from makemytrip.com, therefore the purpose of utilizing the domain name <oktatabyebye.com> appeared purely to funnel Internet traffic and thereby bring it to the website “www.makemytrip.com” for commercial gain.

This decision seems harsh, particularly since the domain was based on the colloquial context for the application of the term ‘Tata’ to mean farewell, neither was there  bad faith on part of the respondent towards misguiding the public.  Last heard the respondent had intended to appeal against transfer of the domain at the Indian Courts.

Read the press reports Medianama (here) and Business Standard (here) for more on this topic and the report by Indiatimes (here) on why Cybersquatters eye online travel market.

Another interesting fact tweeted by Cleartrip is that <makemytrip.com> has also cybersquatted on the domain <clearmytrip.net.in> (see here), now that’s called bad faith registration.

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