As of 01/07/2021
Legal battles are often unpredictable. How much you may hunch on a side, you can never be so sure. But it can surely be termed peculiar when even the ‘Maharishi’ lose. Such has been the case with US based The Maharishi Foundation, as reported by ArchyWorldys.
The Maharishi Foundation owns the brand ‘TM‘. Along with the domain name MaharishiFoundation.org.uk, it also owns the domain name TM.org. Actually TM stands for ‘Transcendental Meditation‘ which is in accordance with the foundation’s main objective of imparting the ancient knowledge of meditation to everyone.
However there is also a domain name WWTM.org that works to support mindfulness. The Maharishi Foundation found the domain name confusingly similar to their brand and considered it a typo. Since the operation of this domain name was similar to theirs, they applied for a UDRP.
The respondent however was confident with the name and applied for a RDNH instead. The panel found out that the brand term TM was contained in the domain name WWTM.org, fulfilling the first criteria of UDRP. But the second criteria was not fulfilled as the respondent had a legal working social enterprise. The respondent also stated that WWTM stands for ‘Working With The Mind‘ and had no relation with TM.org.
The panel in fact noted that both the parties had communicated before and the respondent had already presented their case and justification to the Maharishi Foundation. Hence, the panel decided for a RDNH instead.
Now, who would have predicted that? I guess not even the Maharishis!