Recent Case Notes & Commentary

WHEN DIRTY BECAME FLIRTY-CONFUSINGLY SIMILAR OR NOT?

Brentwood Holding Group Inc v. Tushar Kumar

FORUM: FA2004001894065

May 27, 2020


Deciding if a domain name is confusingly similar to a trademark is easy. Until you have to do it. In fact, some decisions could have gone either way, as we see from a recent decision.


Brentwood Holding Group Inc, in the British Virgin Islands owns and operates one of the leading adult video cam chat sites online. To that end, it owns the trademark DIRTYROULETTE. Tushar Kumar in India decided to go into competition with Brentwood, registered the domain name <flirtyroulette.com> and set up a competing website. So, was it confusingly similar to the trademark? Well, sort of. The domain name incorporated a prominent part of the trademark and the rule, if there is one, is that that is a good start for a Complainant. But is not “flirty” a different word from “dirty”, even if in the same genre?

Yes, it is, but the panelist[i] decided there was a “close similarity” between the domain name and the trademark, and that satisfied the test of confusing similarity. The Complainant then went on to win on the two other elements.

[i] The Hon Neil Brown QC