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Updated: Tata Sons Gets Ownership Of MakeMyTrip’s OKTATABYEBYE Domain

Update: MakeMyTrip is seeking support for OkTaTaByeBye.

Update: What is that they say about people who live in glass houses? Via Twitter, Cleartrip informs us that MakeMyTrip owns Cleartrip.net.in. Unlike Ta ta, I don’t think Cleartrip is a generic, is it?

Update: MakeMyTrip is going to appeal against the order, CEO Deep Kalra has told MediaNama, adding that “Ta ta is a generic that everyone understands.” Strangely enough, there is no appeals process at WIPO, so MakeMyTrip will file an appeal in India to stay the transfer of the domain name.

Original Story: Strange though it may appear, it looks like MakeMyTrip will have to bid ta ta adieu to its travel community brand OKTATABYEBYE.comTata Sons, one of India’s largest business conglomerates, has been given ownership of the domain OKTATABYEBYE.com by the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center. The decision in favor of Tata Sons was taken by a sole panelist: Indian lawyer Pavan Duggal.

Tata’s Complaint

Tata Sons had contended that the domain name oktatabyebye.com included the word TATA, and infringed on the registered trademark: that there is a scope of confusion in the minds of consumers. They beleive that the registrant has no rights or legitimate interest in the domain name since it hasn’t been licensed to or granted permission by Tata Sons, and the company in question is commonly known as MakeMyTrip, not OkTataByeBye.

MakeMyTrip’s Response

MakeMyTrip responded saying that oktatabyebye.com, their online travel community is different from its ticketing and services,  and allows users to create travel blogs, recommendations, reviews etc; more importantly, the domain is representative of the colloquial “OK Ta Ta Bye Bye”, which represents travel, journey and related activities, referring to the generic word “Ta Ta”. Hence it doesn’t infringe on the trademark.

The Verdict

According to the filing, Duggal visited OKTATABYEBYE, and noticed that the monetization of the community, through hotel bookings and advertisements was from MakeMyTrip; he has observed that The purpose of utilizing the domain name oktatabyebye.com appears purely to funnel Internet traffic and thereby bring it to the website “www.makemytrip.com” for commercial gain.

After citing other rulings of cases, particularly those related to Nokia, where registered trademarks were transferred to the complainants, the panel ordered that the domain name be transferred to the Complainant – Tata Sons.

Our Take

Ta Ta is colloquial for farewell, and I don’t think MakeMyTrip intended to use the registered trademark of the TATA group in the OKTATABYEBYE. Secondly, there’s nothing wrong with trying to monetize a travel community via an affiliated business like MakeMyTrip: given Duggals experience with the Internet domain, he should know that. Would he fault Google for monetizing Blogger with Google Adsense? I disagree with the verdict and find it strange that the Tata Sons should even try to get this domain back. Wonder if they’ll ask singer Tata Young to change her name next.

We’ve written to MakeMyTrip CEO Deep Kalra for inputs on what they plan to do following this verdict OKTATABYEBYE.

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