In a recent ruling, the Delhi High Court upheld an arbitral award directing the transfer of the domain name “kashmirharvard.edu.in” from Kashmir Harvard Educational Institute to the President and Fellows of Harvard College in the United States of America. Justice Prateek Jalan dismissed the plea by the Kashmir-based educational institution against the arbitral award, imposing Rs. 50,000 in costs.
The dispute aros’ when the President and Fellows of Harvard College lodged a complaint with NIXI seeking the transfer or cancellation of the domain name, citing their established trademark program and the usage of “Harvard” in their website and social media accounts. The arbitral award, passed under the “.IN Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy” (IDNDRP), favored Harvard College’s claim.
Justice Jalan rejected the plea, emphasizing the limited scope of intervention with an award in international commercial arbitration. He criticized the petitioner for attempting to mislead the court and imposed costs of Rs. 50,000, payable to the respondent within four weeks.
The court noted that the Kashmir-based institute failed to demonstrate a breach of natural justice principles and had admitted receipt of the award. It affirmed that the award was served to the institute via speed post and email, as per the domain registration information.
In conclusion, the Delhi High Court upheld the transfer of the domain name to Harvard College, citing the lack of grounds to overturn the arbitral award. The ruling reinforces the importance of respecting intellectual property rights and the enforcement of arbitration awards in commercial disputes.
Counsel for the petitioner included Mr. Keshav Thakur, Mr. Mahesh Prasad, Ms. Malak Mathur, Mr. Prithvi Thakur, and Mr. Ritik Kumar, while counsel for the respondent were Mr. R.K. Aggarwal, Ms. Ayushi Bansal, and Mr. Vinay Padam.
The case, titled KASHMIR HARVARD EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTE v. PRESIDENT AND FELLOWS OF HARVARD COLLEGE, sets a precedent for resolving domain name disputes and underscores the importance of adhering to arbitration awards in matters of intellectual property rights.