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WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
NIIT Ltd. v. Parthasarathy Venkatram
Case No. D2000-0497
1. The Parties
The Complainant is NIIT Ltd. a company incorporated under the laws of India, having its registered office at NIIT House, C-125, Okhla Phase 1, New Delhi 110020, India. The Respondent is Parthasarathy Venkatram, an individual resident at 5229, Penrith Dr., Apt A, Durham, NC 27713 USA.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The domain name at issue is "myniit.com", which domain name is registered with Register.com Inc., "Register.com", 575, 8th Avenue, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10018, USA.
3. Procedural History
A Complaint was submitted electronically to the World Intellectual Property Organization Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "WIPO Center") on May 25, 2000 and in hardcopy on May 29, 2000. An Acknowledgment of Receipt was sent by the WIPO Center to the Complainant, dated May 29, 2000.
On May 29, 2000 a Request for Registrar Verification was transmitted to the Registrar, Register.com, requesting it to:
(1) confirm that a copy of the Complaint was sent to the Registrar by the Complainant, as required by WIPO Supplemental Rules for Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy, Paragraph 4(b);
(2) confirm that the domain name at issue is registered with Register.com;
(3) confirm that the Respondent is the current registrant of the domain name(s);
(4) provide the full contact details (i.e., postal address(es), telephone number(s), facsimile number(s), e-mail address(es)) available in the Registrar’s WHOIS database for the registrant of the disputed domain name, the technical contact, the administrative contact and the billing contact;
(5) confirm that the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy applies to the domain name(s);
(6) indicate the current status of the domain name(s).
On June 7, 2000 Register.com confirmed that Register.com was in receipt of the Complaint sent to Register.com by the Complainant, the domain name "myniit.com" was registered with Register.com and that the Respondent was the current registrant of the name. The Registrar also forwarded the requested WHOIS details, confirmed that the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy was in effect and stated that the domain name was in "Active" status.
The policy in effect at the time of the original registration of the domain name at issue was Register.com’s Registration Agreement.
Register.com’s Registration Agreement in effect provides in pertinent part:
- Dispute Policy
You agree to be bound by the register.com Domain Name Dispute Policy ("Dispute Policy"), which is hereby incorporated and made a part of this Agreement by reference. The Dispute Policy can be found at http://www.register.com/dispute-policy.cgi. Certain disputes, as specified in the Dispute Policy, are subject to that Policy. You agree that you will be subject to the provisions specified in the Dispute Policy in effect at the time your domain name registration is disputed by a third party, in the event such dispute arises. You also agree that, in the event a domain name dispute arises with any third party, you will indemnify and hold register.com harmless pursuant to the terms and conditions contained in the Dispute Policy."
Effective December 1, 1999 Register.com implemented the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy, adopted by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers ("ICANN") on August 26, 1999 (the "Policy"). There is no evidence that the Respondent ever requested that the domain name at issue be deleted from the domain name database. Accordingly, the Respondent is bound by the provisions of the Policy.
A Formal Requirements Compliance Checklist was completed by the assigned WIPO Center Case Administrator on June 7, 2000. The Panel has independently determined and agrees with the assessment of the WIPO Center that the Complaint is in formal compliance with the requirements of the Policy, the Rules for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy, as approved by ICANN on October 24, 1999 (the "Uniform Rules"), and the WIPO Supplemental Rules for Uniform Domain Dispute Resolution Policy, in effect as of December 1, 1999 (the "WIPO Supplemental Rules"). The required fees for a single-member Panel were paid on time and in the required amount by the Complainant.
No formal deficiencies having been recorded, on June 7, 2000 a Notification of Complaint and Commencement of Administrative Proceeding (the "Commencement Notification") was transmitted to the Respondent (with copies to the Complainant, Register.com and ICANN), setting a deadline of June 27, 2000 by which the Respondent could file a Response to the Complaint. The Commencement Notification was transmitted to the Respondent by e-mail to the e-mail addresses indicated in the Complaint and specified in Register.com’s WHOIS confirmation, as well as to "firstname.lastname@example.org"; no e-mail addresses were found at any web page relating to the disputed domain name. In addition, the Complaint was sent by telefax and express courier to all available postal addresses.
On June 26, 2000 the Respondent transmitted his Response to the WIPO Center by e-mail. An Acknowledgment of Receipt (Response) was sent by the WIPO Center to the Complainant, dated June 27, 2000. On July 7, 2000 the WIPO Center issued to both parties a Notification of Appointment of Administrative Panel and Projected Decision Date. This Notification informed the parties that the Administrative Panel would be comprised of a single Panelist, Mr. Jonas Gulliksson.
On request of the Panel the Respondent clarified certain parts of his Response in an e-mail to the WIPO Center on July 27, 2000. On July 29, 2000 the Complainant replied to the Respondent’s clarifications.
The Sole Panelist finds that the Administrative Panel was properly constituted and appointed in accordance with the Uniform Rules and WIPO Supplemental Rules.
The Administrative Panel shall issue its Decision based on the Complaint, the Response, the Policy, the Uniform Rules and the WIPO Supplemental Rules.
4. Factual Background
The Complainant and its Registered Trademarks
The Complainant, earlier known by the name of Pace Education Pvt. Ltd., was incorporated on December 2, 1982 under the Indian Companies Act 1956. On November 16, 1990, the name of the company was changed to its present name NIIT Ltd. The trademark and trade name NIIT is derived from the Complainant’s trading style: National Institute of Information Technology.
Ever since its inception, the Complainant has been engaged in the business of imparting education and training in the field of Computer and Information Technology and has been developing and marketing computer software. The Complainant’s business involves educating the members of the public to become proficient in the use of computers as per the norms and methodologies developed by it and/or to occupy professional positions related to the use of computers.
Initially the Complainant had set up its own educational centres at Bombay, Delhi, Madras, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Secunderabad, Calcutta and Pune in India. At present, the Complainant has over 600 Franchise Centres situated across the country. The Complainant also has its operations in several countries abroad including but not limited to United States of America, United kingdom, Belgium, France, Thailand, Australia, Singapore, etc.
The Complainant is the registered proprietor of the trade mark NIIT in India, details whereof are given hereinbelow:
Computers and parts thereof, computer software of all kinds, audio and video cassettes.
Printed matter, book publications, magazines, periodicals.
Copies of the certificates for use in legal proceedings for the aforesaid registrations are annexed to the Complaint marked as Annexure D. Apart from the aforementioned two registered trademarks, four other applications of the Complainant are pending trademark registration.
The Complainant also has its trademark "NIIT" registered in almost seventeen countries including United States of America, United Kingdom, China, Hongkong, Indonesia, Mauritius, South Africa, Tiwan, New Zealand, etc. The Complainant also has applied for registrations in several other countries. A detailed list of all the trademark registrations/pending is annexed to the Complaint marked as Annexure E.
5. Parties’ Contentions
This complaint is based on the following grounds.
The business of the Complainant, referred to in the preceding paragraphs, has been conducted under the trade and service mark "NIIT" which mark was newly and freshly coined by the Complainant and, having no obvious meaning to any person and not being a dictionary word, is an invented word having the highest degree of inherent distinctiveness. The Complainant is the proprietor of the trademark and trade name "NIIT" in relation to the said business.
The mark "NIIT" has been in extensive, continuous and uninterrupted use since the year 1982 (the year of its inception) in relation to its business, which shall, for the purposes of brevity, be hereinafter referred to as the "field of Computer and Information Technology."
More specifically, the mark NIIT has been used by the Complainant in relation to all its stationery articles including letterheads, visiting cards, order forms, bill books, envelopes, application forms and in relation to sales promotional materials, such as, brochures, catalogues, price lists etc. The mark NIIT has been used upon goods such as computer software, printed manuals, publications and magazines, study materials etc. The mark NIIT has also been used in relation to advertisements inserted in several print media such as newspapers, magazines etc. in India. In each of the aforesaid instances of use, the mark NIIT is prominently displayed and has become the focus of the Complainant’s entire business.
Additionally, the consumers recognize the Complainant’s business and its various components referred to above by reference to the mark NIIT.
Thus, the mark NIIT having been extensively used in relation to the field of Computers and Information Technology has acquired distinctiveness and is understood and associated by consumers in India as the mark of the Complainant denoting its goods and business.
On account of the high degree of inherent and acquired distinctiveness which the mark NIIT is possessed of, the use of this mark or any other phonetically, visually or other deceptively similar mark, by any other person would result in immense confusion and deception in the trade, leading to passing off.
The Complainant’s business run under the mark "NIIT" has achieved a phenomenal growth ever since its inception and the Complainant has also extensively advertised its business and goods under the mark "NIIT" as illustrated by the sales figures and the advertisement expenses given below:
Break up of Total Turnover and Advertising Expenses (rupees in crores)
The Complainant extensively uses the trademark "NIIT" not only for its business activities but also for advertisements in newspapers and magazines. Some sample advertisements are annexed to the Complaint marked as Annexure F. The Complainant has an extensive network of educational centers including its Franchisees’ Centres across the country. All the Complainant’s centres as well as franchisee’s centres use the name ""NIIT" Centre" with the word "Centre" preceded by the geographical or locational noun.
The use by any other concern of an identical/deceptively similar mark to that of the Complainant’s mark "NIIT" is bound to lead to confusion and deception and amount to infringement of registered trademark and passing off.
Recently NIIT launched a new, sophisticated and extremely useful software packages (costing approximately US $ 40,000) for prompt utilization and exploitation of business ideas on the Internet i.e. e-business and e-commerce, for setting up Portals and Marts on the Internet. These products were christened with names primarily containing the Complainant’s trademark "NIIT" including NIITePortal, NIITeMart and NIITeService, etc.
These e-commerce solutions were also advertised and became an immediate hit, consequent to their launch, in important computer magazines such as DATAQUEST, COMPUTERWORLD, etc., which are available in all the major cities of India. Copies of the advertisements for this launch appearing in DATAQUEST, COMPUTERWORLD are annexed to the Complaint as Annexure G.
Therefore, in the field of computers and information technology, the Complainant’s trademark is being extensively associated not only in the area of computer education, but also in areas such as e-commerce solutions. Additionally the Complainant is constantly developing new business methods and providing new e-commerce solutions and the same are sold bearing the trademark "NIIT" either as a prefix or a suffix.
Under these circumstances, any person or entity using the trademark NIIT as a part of its business is bound to lead the customers and users to infer that its product or service has an association or nexus with the Complainant.
The Respondent in the present dispute has registered domain name "myniit.com" thereby misappropriating illegally and without authority the trademark NIIT, which is the exclusive property of the Complainant. The said domain name incorporates the trademark "NIIT" which is identical to the trade mark owned by the Complainant and the existence of the impugned domain name "myniit.com" can cause irreparable loss to the goodwill and reputation that has been built by the Complainant over the said decades.
The Complainant submits that the Respondent has registered the impugned domain name in February 2000, and even till date, the Complainant is unable to access the web site bearing the address www.myniit.com. Under these circumstances, if the Respondent had a bonafide reason to register the said domain name, it would have proceeded to activate its website bearing the address www.myniit.com. The fact that he has chosen not to do so implies malafide intentions on his behalf, to sell the same to a third party or to use the same for fraudulent purposes. The aforesaid facts clearly demonstrate that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interest in the disputed domain name and the said registration should be considered as having been registered and used in bad faith.
In the present case, it is very natural for an internet user, who wishes to reach the web site of the Complainant, to type in their corporate name "NIIT", at one of the various search engines. The search result would include the Respondent’s web site apart from the web sites of the Complainant. This will lead the Internet user to believe that the Complainant is associated with or own the said web-sites bearing the domain address www.myniit.com.
It is evident that adoption of the impugned domain name, incorporating the trademark of the Complainant as a part thereof, by the Respondent has been done with the sole intention of passing off the domain name to the users of the Internet and further to generate illegal profits by selling domain names at a premium. The registration obtained by the Respondent is a handle of fraud, that will allow the Respondent to exploit the Complainant’s trademark "NIIT" to earn illegal profits. The impugned domain name will not only enable passing off, but if the Respondent is allowed to use the said domain names, they are likely to use it fraudulently. The unimaginable reach of the electronic medium of the Internet, and the fact that there are already approximately 150 million users of the same all over the world, it virtually ensures that the Respondent’s dishonest activities and services under the Complainant’s trademark "NIIT", will be successfully passed off as or connected with the business of the Complainant.
Besides all the above, there is great likelihood that the actual or potential customers will be further induced to:
(i) believe that the Complainant have recently collaborated with the Respondent and have endorsed its proposed activities under the impugned domain name;
(ii) believe that Complainant has licensed its trademark "NIIT" to the Respondent for conducting its business, which has the same level of quality and reliability as that of the Complainant;
(iii) believe that the Respondent has some connection with the Complainant, in terms of a direct nexus or affiliation with the NIIT Ltd.; or
(iv) subscribe to the services of the Respondent’s services or to deal in some manner with the Respondent believing it to be licensed or authorized by the Complainant to do the said business.
Thus, the Respondent’s use of the impugned mark/name is aimed at encashing on the image and status acquired by the Complainant, which would consequently and irreparably damage the reputation and goodwill of the Complainant by tarnishment of the asset, which is the trademark "NIIT", especially as internet users would be lead to believe that the Complainant are also involved in the business of trafficking domain name, if the Respondent proceeds to sell the impugned domain name to third parties. Such use by the Respondent amounts to an act of infringement and passing off of its business as and for that of the Complainant.
The Complainant has been extremely conscious of its rights and has always taken necessary action for safeguarding the same. For instance at least four suits are pending before the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi, India which in Suit No. 934 of 1993, Hon’ble Mr. Justice S.C. Jain, on May14, 1993 granted an interim injunction restraining the Defendant therein from trading under the style NIT. Similarly, in suit No. 1294/94, Hon’ble Justice Y.K. Sabharwal on June 3, 1994 granted an interim injunction restraining the Defendant therein from trading under the style NIIT. In a third suit pending under No. 2688 of 1993, Hon’ble Mr. Justice J. B. Goel was pleased to confirm an interim injunction restraining the Defendants from trading under the style NIT. In another suit pending under no. 2782 / 99, Hon’ble Mr.Justice Manmohan Sarin was pleased to grant an interim ex parte order of injunction restraining the defendants from using the domain names niiteportal.com, niitemart.com, niiteservice.com, niitemart.net, niiteservice.net, niiteservice.org as a domain name and as a web address or any other trademark or domain name containing the Complainant’s trademark NIIT. Copies of the Orders of the Court in each of the three above-mentioned matters are attached as Annexure H to the Complaint.
Under the afore mentioned circumstances, the Complainant submits that the Respondent has registered the impugned domain name in bad faith, as it has no legitimate right or interest in the trademark NIIT, which is the sole property of the Complainant who has neither licensed its use to the Respondent nor has it authorized the Respondent to use the same in any manner whatsoever.
The Respondent’s registration for the domain name "myniit.com" lacks good faith and bona fides because of the following factors:
- The Complainant not only has common law rights in the trademark NIIT by virtue of long and continuos use but is also the registered proprietor of the trademark NIIT and therefore can use the same to the exclusion of all others.
- The Respondent’s domain name incorporates the words NIIT as a prominent part thereof which word is identical to the registered trademark of the Complainant who has neither authorized nor licensed its use in any manner whatsoever to the Respondent.
- The Complainant has been using the words NIIT as a trademark and tradename continuously and extensively since the year 1982 and therefore the Respondent is a subsequent user. Additionally, the Complainant also has registrations in other countries apart from India, including USA since 1995, where the Respondent resides.
- The Respondent is not using the domain name for any bonafide activity, infact has not even activated its website clearly demonstrating that the registration has been obtained for some other ulterior motive.
It is therefore submitted that the impugned domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith by the Respondent.
Finally, Complainant has requested the Administrative Panel to issue that the contested domain name "myniit.com" shall be transferred to Complainant.
In his response, the Respondent has stated the following.
He registered the domain name "myniit.com" as he had a genuine need and that he never had any intention of grabbing anyone else’s brand name.
The domain name "myniit.com" is neither a tradename nor a trademark registered by the Complainant and that the Complainant does not claim to have had any product or service with the disputed domain name before the domain name was registered.
The disputed domain name was registered by him to start a service that will help the IITs (Indian Institute of Technologies) and the IITians (people connected with those institutes). The IITs have been in existence long before the Complainant registered the tradename NIIT. If the Complainant claims to have a right over the name "myniit", can those who have rights over the name IIT claim the Complainant’s name NIIT ?
The Respondent has clarified his response and stated the following.
The disputed name was registered by him to start a service that would help people related to the IITs. It is going to be a commercial venture that will help these people forge partnerships.
C. Complainant’s reply to the Respondent’s clarifications
The complainant’s reply to the respondent’s clarifications are as follows:
1. The respondent’s contention that he intends to utilize the domain name for a website related to IIT’s (Indian Institute of Technology) is a tall story and ought to be rejected as such. It is submitted before the Hon’ble Panel that in almost all domain name disputes, respondents have made tall claims as to their intentions to utilize the domain name for some purpose or the other. It will be noticed that respondents get really creative in this exercise and churn out the most surprising uses that they intend to make of the domain name.
2. Starting from Nabisco brands Co Vs. The Patron Group, Inc., Case No. D2000-0032, where the respondent had argued that one of the domain names in issue, i.e. bettercheddars.com could represent a website for a large cheese or cheddar producing firm in Wisconsin to Herohonda Motors Ltd Vs. Rao Tella, D2000-0365, in which the respondent had contended that by registering herohonda.com, he intended to establish a fan site for Honda lovers, since he himself was a Honda fan and considered "Honda" as the hero of all cars, the WIPO panelists have consistently maintained that the "mere intention to use" is not enough to establish legitimate interests in the domain name. In fact in the Nabisco case, the panelist went so far as to state that the respondent’s contentions are no more than "wishful fantasizing". In the Herohonda case, the panelist held that "the respondent’s plans, without more, would not give the respondent any rights or legitimate interests in the name".
3. The present respondent is no different and one has only to look at one simple fact to realize this. Had the respondent really intended to provide a service related to IIT’s, his first choice would have been myiit.com, rather than myniit. Once again, the complainant would like to rely upon the Hero Honda decision, wherein it was held that the respondent’s intentions of having a fan club is inconsistent with the fact that he registered the term "Hero Honda", which is not indicative of a fan club unlike terms such as "Honda fans" or even "Honda club". The panel was further convinced of this since the respondent chose to put the word "Hero" before the word "Honda" and not vice versa. Similarly, in the present case as well, the complainant cannot fathom as to why the respondent appropriated the term "NIIT", which is the complainant’s trademark, when he could have easily registered "myiit"-why did he have to include the "N"?.
4. No doubt, the domain name myiit.com has already been registered. However, it would interest the Hon’ble Panelist to note that this domain name-i.e.myiit.com, had been registered only as late as July 12, 2000. This date being later than the date on which the respondent had registered the domain name myniit.com, (i.e. on February 25, 2000), it would appear that the domain name myiit.com had been available to the respondent. The fact that the respondent had not registered it only goes to show that the respondent had intended to misappropriate the complainant’s trademark and disproves any potential legitimate interest that the respondent might have had in the domain name myniit.com. This is further buttressed by the fact the domain names myiit.net and myiit.org are still available.
5. The use of the myniit.com would be totally inappropriate to operate a website intended at IIT’s or IIT’ians, for whom there already exist several websites using "IIT" as the key and essential feature. By way of illustration, the complainant would like to bring to the notice of this Hon’ble panel websites such as iit-alumini.org, iit-bombay.com and iit-kanpur.com, which specifically relate to the IIT’s and the IIT’ians. Both being premier institutions in India, IIT has a separate and distinct connotation as opposed to NIIT and one cannot be substituted for the other. IIT is a premier institute that offers select engineering courses whereas NIIT is a premier institute offering computer education.
6. In fact, now that the respondent has stated that his website is targeting services with respect to IIT’s (which are premier technology institutes in India), it is but obvious that the respondent is an Indian and therefore was aware of the prior rights of the complainant, who also happens to be a premier Indian institute, with over 600 centres in the field of computer and IT education. This again would disprove any potential legitimate interest that the respondent might have had in the domain name myniit.com. There have been a plethora of WIPO precedents in this regard; see Neuberger Berman Inc vs. Alfred Jacobsen, D2000-0323; see also Expedia Inc. vs. European travel Network Group Co, D2000-0137, wherein it was held that "in the absence of contrary evidence, the respondent knew or should have known of the complainant’s trade and service mark rights". It is clear that the respondent intends to free ride on the goodwill and reputation associated with the complainant’s name and this is a clear indication of bad faith registration and use.
7. As on the date of filing the WIPO complaint in this matter, the respondent’s website had been inactive. However, in order to fake a legitimate interest in the domain name, the respondent has now partially activated his website by having on it a message soliciting interactions between ex-IIT’ians (alumni of IIT). It is very evident from this message that the respondent is at pains to establish some kind of bonafide services via his network, without realizing that WIPO panelists in several decisions, have made it amply clear that the post domain dispute activation of a website will not be taken into consideration. Since the complainant has got only a few hours to reply in order to meet the time deadline, the complainant has been unable to cite the above mentioned decisions. In the present case, the purported "deminimis" activation merely goes to buttress the complainant’s plea that the respondent does not have any legitimate interests in the said domain name; rather his actions reek of bad faith registration and use.
6. Discussion and Findings
According to Paragraph 15 (a) of the Rules the Panel shall decide a complaint in accordance with the Policy, the Rules and any rules and principles of law that it deems applicable.
Paragraph 4 (a) of the Policy directs that the Complainant must prove each of the following:
1) that the domain name registered by the Respondent is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; and,
2) that the Respondent has no legitimate interests in respects of the domain name; and
- the domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
The Complainant alleges that "myniit.com" is identical , or confusingly similar, to the Complainant’s trade name and registered trade mark NIIT. The Panel finds that the domain name "myniit.com", which name incorporates the word NIIT as a prominent part thereof, is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s tradename and trademark NIIT.
The Respondent has stated that the domain name was registered by him to start a service that would help the IITs and the IITians. According to the Respondent this would be a commercial venture. As of the date of the filing of the Complaint in this matter, the Respondent’s website was inactive. The Panel does not attach importance to the fact that the Respondent has activated his website now since the activation was made after the notice to the Respondent of the dispute. Consequently, the Respondent has not proven that he has any prior rights or legitimate interests in the domain name.
The prerequisites in the Policy, Paragraph 4 (a) (i) and (ii) are therefore fulfilled.
Paragraph 4 (a) (iii) of the Policy further provides registration and use in bad faith.
Paragraph 4 (b) regulates which kind of evidence that is required.
The Respondent has stated that he would provide help to the IITs and the IITians on his website. Since the IIT is a premier technology institute in India it seems unlikely that the Respondent would not have been aware of the Complainant’s rights in the mark NIIT before he registered his domain name, since NIIT is also an institute in India having more than 600 centres in the field of computer and IT-education. It is highly improbable that the Respondent would have chosen "myniit" if he only intended to refer to the IITs. On the contrary, the fact that the domain name contains the abbreviation for NIIT which is fanciful and identical with the Complainant’s trademark strongly supports the fact that the Respondent has been aware of the Complainant’s trademark and the name NIIT.
Further, the Panel concludes that it is most unlikely that the Respondent would use the website for the alleged purpose since he could have registered the domain name "myiit", which contains the abbreviation for the Indian Institute of Technologies, instead of "myniit" which contains the Complainant’s trademark.
Taking in account all of the above, it is not possible to conceive of any plausible use of the domain name by the Respondent that would not be illegitimate.
In light of these circumstances, the Panel concludes that the Respondent registered and is using the domain name at issue in bad faith.
Consequently, all the prerequisites for cancellation or transfer of the domain name according to Paragraph 4 (i) of the Rules are fulfilled.
The Complainant has requested transfer of the domain name.
In view of the above circumstances and facts the Panel decides, that the domain name registered by Respondent is identical or confusingly similar to the trademark and service mark in which the Complainant has rights, and that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name, and that Respondent’s domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith. Accordingly, pursuant to Paragraph 4 (i) of the Policy, the Panel requires that the registration of the domain name "myniit.com" be transferred to the Complainant.
Dated: August 4, 2000