Hakoba Saree case of reverse domain name hijacking ends in guilty verdict for Mumbai company

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Hakoba.com web site.

A World Intellectual Property Organization panel consisting of one member ruled in favor of Mukesh Shah of New York, finding a Mumbai company guilty of reverse domain name hijacking over the domains Hakoba.com, hakobasaree.com, and hakobasarees.com.

Mr. Shah was named as the Respondent in the case, with Hakoba Lifestyle Limited (a subsidiary of Pioneer Embroideries Ltd) as the Complainant.

Hakoba.in, which is owned by the Complainant, sells saris (also spelled sarees). Also in the business of selling saris, the Respondent had registered Hakoba.com in 1998.

It was determined by the panel that the domain name was not registered and used in bad faith, which should have been fairly obvious from the beginning. If anything, this case is about trademarks, not cybersquatting.

The case was found by panelist Adam Taylor to be one of reverse domain name hijacking. The panelist’s rationale was fairly generic, but it seems quite clear that Mukesh Shah had a legitimate interest in the domain name and hadn’t registered it in bad faith.

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