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Cyber Sqatting

Cyber squatting as an offence relates to the registration of a domain name by an entity who does not have an inherent right or a similar or identical trademark registration in its favour, with the sole view and intention to sell them to the legitimate user in order to earn illegal profits.

In the Bisleri case, the Delhi High Court on a complaint by the proprietors of the TM Bisleri and the domain name Bislerimineralwater. Com restrained an IT company from using the domain name In another recent judgment passed by the Delhi High court in yahoo! Inc v/s Akash Arora 1999 PTC 201, the court has restrained the defendant from using the Domain name on the ground that it violated the rights of the plaintiff who was the owner of the domain name which was registered prior in time in 69 countries though not in India.

It is also noteworthy that while deciding this matter the court considered the ratio of Montari Industries case and the Whirlpool case that have laid down the concept of trans border reputation.

In Rediff Communications v Cyberbooth, the defendants were restrained from using the domain name as it was deceptively similar to the Plaintiff’s registered domain name

The Internet is, in a remote sense, analogous to the ‘High Seas’. No one owns it, yet people of all nationalities use it. This makes the control of cyber crime an international issue.

One suggestion has been to try and bring cyber crimes under international crimes, similar to offences of piracy under the law of the sea, which may be tried in any country. This is a rather ambitious plan and is unlikely to receive sufficient support from the international community.

In Investment India Limited v ICICI & Anr, the defendant had got registered in its name a domain name The plaintiff claimed that the defendant was violating its rights, as they were the registered proprietors of the domain name application of the plaintiffs for the grant of interim injunction was dismissed in this case because it was found that the plaintiff’s had concealed from the court, the fact that the defendants had registered their domain name prior in time to the plaintiffs.


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