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Tribunal bars unauthorised use of Khadi brand name

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The National Internet Exchange of India Domain Dispute Policy (INDRP) Arbitration Tribunal in New Delhi has ruled that Khadi is not a generic name and the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) is the legitimate owner of the trade marks “Khadi” and “Khadi India”, according to a PTI report.

The order came on a complaint filed by KVIC challenging a domain name www.khadi.in being run by Delhi-based Jitendra Jain and his associates, with the tribunal holding that the domain name in question was registered in “bad faith”, PTI said.

The Tribunal rejected the contention that “Khadi” is a generic word and said use of the popular brand name by any other is likely to create confusion and deception with the goods/services of KVIC.

Directing that the domain name www.khadi.in be transferred to KVIC, Pankaj Garg, sole Arbitrator in the matter, said “Khadi” was not a generic name to be used by private individuals or firms and permanently restrained Jain and his agents from using the brand name Khadi.

“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,” the Arbitrator said.

Further, the tribunal said, “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″.

“It is directed that the domain name www.khadi.in be transferred in favour of the complainant (KVIC)…the respondent and any person acting on its behalf are permanently restrained from using the domain name or any other deceptively similar trademark which may amount to infringement of the complainant’s registered trademark and also from doing any other thing which is likely to create confusion and deception with the goods/services of KVIC, the complainant,” the tribunal said in its order.