Indian Domain Name Disputes

Domain disputes in India are handled by Arbitrator’s appointed by the National Internet Exchange of India (commonly known as niXi).

Last year when I attended the DomainX Conference in Bangalore, I met several of these Arbitrator’s, and had a good chat with them about the differences in dispute resolution between India and Australia.

One of these gentlemen has become a good friend, and we often communicate online. Ankkur Raheja is a Cyber Lawyer & Arbitrator based in Delhi. He provides a range of services as detailed on his website. So if anyone ever needs any advice about doing business in India, I’d be happy to introduce you.

Hopefully I can convince Ankkur to do a guest blog article soon on doing cyber business in India. Also I will ask him to address the differences in dispute resolution between India and Australia. As I have written previously, some of these concern me greatly. In particular, as I understand it, an Arbitrator has the power to award costs / damages against a party. Check out Q7 and Q8 of this summation. Why that is potentially worrying is that Respondents don’t generally win in India! 😉 Have a look at the graph on this site.

Current Disputes

I was just made aware that Dell has launched a record 19 .IN domain disputes under the INDRP system.

Interestingly, instead of being handled en masse by one Arbitrator, each of the 19 disputes is being dealt with by separate panelists. As I understand it, the Indian system operates on a rotational basis – as disputes arise, they take it in turns. Good way to share the business around. 😉

Though having said that, I suppose there may well be a number of separate registrants – and Dell has just decided to have a go at all “offenders” at the same time.

Given that costs / damages can be awarded, this could well be an expensive exercise for the current registrants! Ouch.


2 thoughts on “Indian Domain Name Disputes

  • January 22, 2016 at 4:33 pm

    Most people doesn’t even think before buying a domain name that using a brands’ name might get them into legal troubles. I would say in reality they never know that this would be possible. Therefore they register domain names that might help them get traffic soon because of company’s name they used in their domain name. You would find many people using google word in their domain name as well but google doesn’t care much as they easily know that’s not going to affect them. I am thinking how many of these guys have to pay if they lost the cases that dell has filed against them. I think, penalities in India aren’t much costly so the main thing I see here is that Dell is just trying to get rid of domain names that are using their brand name words in them so that the traffic doesn’t get diverted to those other sites at all.

  • January 22, 2016 at 6:26 pm

    Thanks for the mention Ned.

    Rightly, the .IN Domain Dispute matters are handled separately by different arbitrators mainly due to lack of any provision similar to UDRP Rules under the .IN Domain Dispute Resolution Policy (INDRP)

    Under UDRP, where the Respondent is the same, more than one domain can be combined in a single complaint by the Trademark holder and also combined fees has been prescribed on similar lines for 1-5 domains, 6-10 domains and so on. But INDRP does not provide any such provisions of filing a domain dispute over more than one domain in a single complaint.

    That is the reason, Dell had to file separate complainants, even through there is a probability that for some Domains, the respondent would be the same !

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