It may be tough to find a good life partner to marry, but the people who arrange these marriages aren’t having it any easier.
Shaadi.com, the iconic portal that’s almost become synonymous with online match-making in India, has a bone to pick with SecondShaadi.com, a 10 year matrimonial portal that specializes in arranging second marriages.
People Interactive, which owns Shaadi.com contends that the word ‘Shaadi’ is their copyright, and cannot be used in the brand name of Secondshaadi.com, and moved to court. The petitioners for Shaadi said that services under this mark and domain name have acquired substantial goodwill and repute and said that its domain name has all the characteristics of a trademark. As such, Shaadi said that its mark, has now gained a ‘secondary meaning’. Moreover, Shaadi also accused SecondShaadi of trying to “pass off” as a property of Shaadi.com so as to circumvent trademark laws.
The courts however are having none of it. They have concluded that household names cannot be monopolized. An excerpt from the court order said “Considered in a vacuum, it (the name) is purely descriptive of the services in question. This does not by itself preclude the Plaintiff from claiming a monopoly over the mark, since it is well-settled that even a descriptive mark can attain distinctiveness, and is, therefore, capable of being used as a trade mark.”
SecondShaadi, owned by Vivek Pahwa, has also retorted saying that Shaadi.com has known of SecondShaadi since 2007, but only sought to sue them when their business felt threatened.
“If Shaadi.com is a destination for Indians seeking matrimony, then, by the same token, secondshaadi.com must be the destination for those seeking to repeat the experience,” said the courts. SecondShaadi and its domain name can live on happily ever after.