Intellectual Property RightsCARS24 v. Aman Nagpal: An Overseas Domain Dispute of Trademark Infringement

December 13, 20210


As the wave of digitalization had struck the world, especially during the tough times of pandemic, along with a lot of development has come enormous threats to various businesses. The recent trademark dispute of Global Car Group Pte Ltd., Cars24 Services Private Limited, Global Cars Aus Pty Ltd. v. Aman Nagpal Proven Associated Services Pty Ltd (Case No. DAU2021-0022) at the World Intellectual Property Organization (hereinafter, “the WIPO”) Arbitration and Mediation Centre has received massive attention as it sets out apparent rules arising from issues pertaining to registration and usage of a domain name in a foreign country.

In this article, we shall be discussing the recent dispute pertaining to domain name of CARS24 settled by the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Centre.


Global Car Group Pte. Ltd., (hereinafter, “the Plaintiff No. 1”), is an e-commerce firm founded on April 13, 2015 that is engaged in the business of buying and selling old automobiles and auto components to companies and customers through its subsidiaries. The Plaintiff No. 1 owns Indian trademark registration for ‘CARS24’, which was registered on July 8, 2015.

Cars24 Services Private Limited (hereinafter, “the Plaintiff No. 2”), is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Plaintiff No. 1, established on August 12, 2015, that does business in India. Global Cars Aus Pty Ltd. (hereinafter, “the Plaintiff No. 3”), is a completely owned subsidiary of the Plaintiff No. 1 that conducts business in Australia.

Hereinafter, the Plaintiff No. 1, Plaintiff No. 2 and Plaintiff No. 3 are jointly referred to as “the Plaintiff”. The Plaintiff own a large number of domain names that starts with “cars24.” In 2015, the Plaintiff No. 1 purchased the domain name “”, which the Plaintiff has utilized in connection with their primary website. Recently, the Plaintiff have also developed an Australia-specific webpage within their main website at “”

On December 28, 2020, the Plaintiff No. 1 submitted an Australian trademark application which was approved.  However, Aman Nagpal from Proven Associated Services Pty ltd., (hereinafter, “the Respondent”) objected the said trademark application.

On April 21, 2021, the Plaintiff No. 1 submitted two new Australian trademark applications for CARS24 and CARS24 figurative mark and the same is under review presently.

According to the Respondent, the contested domain name was registered on December 22, 2018 and used to redirect to the website of the Respondent. On October 5, 2020, an employee from the Plaintiff’s organization contacted the Respondent about the possibility of transferring the contested domain name. During that chat, the employee also revealed his affiliation with Cars24.

Moving forward, on April 17, 2021, a third party working on behalf of the Plaintiff again approached the Respondent about the possibility of transferring the disputed domain name to which, initially the Respondent asserted that the contested domain name was not for sale. However, later when the Respondent was again asked about the price of the domain name, the Respondent quoted a minimum of AUD 250,000.

Recently, in June 2021, the Respondent registered the Australian business name “Cars24 Australia” and commenced an opposition to the Plaintiff’s trademark application for CARS24.


  1. Whether the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a name, trademark or service mark in which the Plaintiff has rights?
  2. Whether the disputed domain name has been registered or subsequently used in bad faith?


The Plaintiff contended that the contested domain name is identical and confusingly similar to the Plaintiff’s CARS24 mark.

In relation to the contested domain name, the Plaintiff contended that the Respondent has no rights or reasonable interests on the impugned mark. Besides, the Respondent is not a licensee of the Plaintiff, and the Plaintiff have not permitted or allowed the Respondent to use the CARS24 marks in any manner, including in a domain name.

The Plaintiff affirmed that the Respondent’s intention in registering the contested domain name was to sell it further, rather than to use it for commercial purposes. The Plaintiff contented that the challenged domain name was registered in bad faith and in spite of full awareness of the Plaintiff’s rights the Respondent registered the contested domain name. The Plaintiff further claimed that the mark CARS24 and the impugned logo are recognisable and well-known all over the world.

With respect to the Respondent’s claim that the Plaintiff contacted the Respondent about the sale of the contested domain name demonstrated the Respondent’s familiarity with the Plaintiff and the CARS24 trademark. The Plaintiff argued that if the Respondent did not have the mala fide intention to sell the said domain name, then the Respondent would not have quoted a price, which is far more than the Respondent’s out-of-pocket costs.

The Plaintiff stated that the disputed domain name was being utilized only to divert internet users who are looking for the Plaintiff’s website to the Respondent’s website. The Plaintiff also brought it to the notice of the Administration Panel of WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Centre (hereinafter, “the Panel”) that the Respondent contacted the Plaintiff’s Australian trademark Attorney in an attempt to sell the disputed domain name and threatened to oppose the Plaintiff’s trademark applications, which amounted to further evidence of bad faith.

On the other hand, the Respondent stated that the Respondent relocated permanently to Australia from India in 2012, before the company of the Plaintiff was established and thereby, The Respondent was unfamiliar with the Plaintiff’s operations in Australia. The Respondent further contended that the Plaintiff’s brand has no major value in Australia; the “cars24au” Instagram account of the Plaintiff had just 157 followers as of June 21, 2021.

The Respondent asserted that the Plaintiff’s company grew slowly until 2018, and then expanded to a great extent in 2019, which is recently. On the contrary, the contested domain name was obtained by the Respondent before the Plaintiff’s company began to grow.

The Respondent contended that time and again, the Respondent communicated to the Plaintiff that the disputed domain name was not available for sale and that it was being kept for a certain project. The Respondent suspected illegal activity when the Plaintiff’s agent raised the price too high and mentioned payment in cryptocurrency. Therefore, the Respondent randomly quoted AUD 250,000 for the domain name, in order to assess the potential threat or risk associated with the same.

The Respondent reiterated that the contested domain name was not for sale; rather, it was intended for use in the Respondent’s dream project. It was stated that when the Plaintiff learned that the Respondent was already working on a project with the same name, the Plaintiff immediately set up a business in Australia. The Respondent further claimed that the Respondent has spent four years securing licences and making attempts to bring the idea of the dream project to fruition, which began far before the Plaintiffs’ operations in Australia.


 The Panel observed that the Plaintiff made an unsolicited supplemental filing on June 29, 2021, after the filing of the informal response. In the supplemental filing, the Plaintiff requested the Panel to reject the informal response for failure to comply with the .au Dispute Resolution Policy (hereinafter, “the Rules”), Paragraphs 5(b)(i), (ii), (iii), (vii), (viii), and (ix), alleging that the informal response of Petitioner failed to present any arguments in defense, adduce any documentary evidence to show use of the disputed domain name, and omitted contact details and included no certification.

The Plaintiff further submitted that the Panel should not consider the informal response but should rather consider the Respondent in default and draw appropriate inferences in accordance with the Rules, paragraph 14(b).

The Panel noted that, to the extent that the informal response makes substantive omissions, the informal response can be taken into account in the weighing of the evidence.

As for the procedural omissions, the Panel held that it has caused the Plaintiff no prejudice in this case and the lack of certification of the informal response can also be taken into account when weighing the evidence. Therefore, the Panel rejected the Plaintiff’s request and, in accordance with the Rules, paragraph 10(d), took the informal response into account according to its relevance, materiality and weight.

Based on the contentions of the parties and the findings of the Panel, it was held that the domain name was used by the Respondent to intentionally attract commercial gain. The Respondent created confusion in the mind of the users by using a deceptively similar name or mark.

The Panel held that the said domain name was registered by the Respondent in bad faith. It was observed by the Panel that the Respondent registered the domain name with the intent of selling it further at an inflated price and for-profit purposes.

For all the foregoing reasons, in accordance with Paragraphs 4(i) of the .au Dispute Resolution Policy and 15 of the Rules, the Panel held that the disputed domain name “” be transferred to the Plaintiff.


With the advent of the digital era, such international disputes regarding domain names and trademark or logos are becoming increasingly common. Due to the boundary-less nature of the Internet, users around the globe can access any and every website at the tip of their fingers.

The present case focuses on domain name dispute arising in a foreign country. Domain names are new-age trademarks which depict the quality and goodwill of the company or brand. Several companies or individuals register trademarks or domain names with the sole intent to sell it further at a much higher price. On such occasions, usually the company or individual has the knowledge of the trademark or domain name belonging to another entity and procures the registration in order to make huge profits.

Companies should safeguard the domain name of their websites in order to protect the image and name of their brand at both national and international level. Safety at global level is a must for trademarks that are gaining enormous significance in the market.

-TEAM AMLEGALS, assisted by Ms. Kirtika Tripathi (Intern)

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