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Shalin Jain (NA)     17 October 2011

Can i take up a name that's a trademark in us & not in india


I have registered a domain name www.complaints.org.in on which I will start a website by the end of this month. The website will be hosted and managed by resources based out of India. Now, there’s also another website www.complaints.com which is based out of US and is a trademark (you can visit www.complaints.com for further information). So, will this be a copyright infringement of www.complaints.org.in Vs. www.complaints.com . As far as I know, trademarks are territorial rights and hence an US trademark is enforceable only in US. Pls. help me address this query.


 8 Replies


Dear Shalin,


Please do not confuse Trade Marks, Domain Names and Copyrights. It appears that 'Complaints.com' is a registered trade mark in United States apart from, as you would appreciate, a registered domain name as well. Trade marks are territorial but because of accessibility of internet from any part of the world, domain names cannot be called territorial however the work carried out by a website may be territorial.


Moreover, trade mark disputes are resolved by courts in that jurisdiction in which the trade mark is registered and has been infringed. Domain name disputes may be resolved throught Courts (as has been done in many instances in India now) or there is a separate resolution fora called Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) administrated by ICANN.


In the present scenario, complaints.com appears to be a US specific website while yours, I assume, would be an India specific website. I do not know what work you would be carrying out on your website but it is unlikely that a domain name dispute would arise in this case.


Further, 'complaints.com' is a trade mark in US and as you have pointed out, TM are territorial and therefore it cannot be enforced in India unless it has been registered as a TM in India as well. One exception is for well known trade marks which does not apply here.


Hope this helps.





Abhinav Bhalla

B.R.Bhalla & Associates


+91 9910406711

1 Like

Rajesh Hazra (Mediator and Legal Counsel )     19 October 2011

Dear Shalin,

Your query has been very claarly explained in a simple manner. I truly agree with Mr.Abhinav Bhalla Advocate. Domain name dispute resolution is not very common in India, and is something quite new, with the boom of websites.

Shalin Jain (NA)     20 October 2011

Thanks a lot Abhinav and Rajesh... Appreciate your replies...

Vijyant Nigam (09807349001) (Advocate)     25 October 2011

rightly observed by mr. bhalla

Adv. Samar (Advocate)     29 October 2011

follow Mr. Bhalla


Org.in is different from com. The question of domain name confilcts doesn't arise. Confirm with https://www.iana.org

Nagaraja B S (Corporate Commercial & IP Lawyer)     03 November 2011


Dear User,


Domain names are different from Trademark. However, there are instances where tradmark and domain name are same

for eg. snapdeal.com, infibeam.com

For more details, Contact



Corporate, Commercial & IP Lawyer

IP Lex Global Services

Email: nagaraja_bs@iplexglobal.in

Mob: 0091-09902007635 / 34

Shalin Jain (NA)     13 December 2011

But then I guess one cannot trademark complaints word because it's a word in public domain.

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