PropertyGuru Wins Domain Name Dispute Against iProperty in Malaysia

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Panel directs transfer ownership of “PropertyGuru.com.my” To PropertyGuru

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A panel of 3 panelists appointed by The Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre for Arbitration (KLRCA) has ruled in favor of PropertyGuru Group’s ownership of the domain name “propertyguru.com.my” in respect of the complaint filed by AllProperty Media Pte Ltd (“PropertyGuru”) against the use and registration of the "propertyguru.com.my" domain name sometime in May 2011 by Think Media Sdn Bhd. Think Media Sdn Bhd. is a Malaysian company acquired by the iProperty group of companies in 2010 (for ease of reference the term "iProperty" will be used loosely to refer to Think Media Sdn Bhd and/or the iProperty group of companies in Malaysia, as is applicable). It was ruled that iProperty had acted in bad faith and was requested to transfer the "propertyguru.com.my” domain back to PropertyGuru by 4th of August 2011. More details follow below.

A panel of 3 panellists consisting of legal specialists in the area of intellectual property presided over the case (Case ref. no: KLRCA/DNDR/2011/27) and on 20th July ruled that:

  •      The "propertyguru.com.my" domain name is identical to PropertyGuru's "PropertyGuru" trademark, and is closely and confusingly similar to PropertyGuru's "propertyguru.com.sg and "propertyguru.com.my" trade marks
  •     
  • PropertyGuru has established goodwill and reputation with end users and real estate developers in the "PropertyGuru" trade mark in Malaysia since mid 2008
  •     
  • iProperty has used and/or registered the "propertyguru.com.my" domain in bad faith
  •     
  • iProperty, being a competitor of PropertyGuru, was fully aware of PropertyGuru's prior use, goodwill and reputation in the "PropertyGuru" trade mark in Malaysia
  •     
  • The registration and use by iProperty of "home-guru.com.my" which is closely similar to “homeguru.com.my” belonging to HomeGuru Sdn Bhd, the Malaysian company which forms part of the PropertyGuru group of companies further supports an inference of bad faith by iProperty in using and registering the “propertyguru.com.my” domain
  •     
  • iProperty has failed to demonstrate any rights and legitimate interests in the "propertyguru.com.my" domain name

As a result, the panel directed iProperty to transfer the "propertyguru.com.my" domain name to PropertyGuru.

“The panel appointed by KLRCA has clearly ruled that we are the rightful owners of 'propertyguru.com.my' and that iProperty had acted in bad faith in relation to this. We are delighted that justice has been served and that we can continue to focus on providing the best possible service to our end users and advertisers," stated Steve Melhuish, PropertyGuru Group CEO.

As a result of iProperty's use of the "propertyguru.com.my" domain name, PropertyGuru had no choice but to operate its Malaysian website using the "homeguru.com.my" domain in 2010.

Media Contact:
Ms Winnie Khoo, Chief Marketing Officer
Contact number: +65 6238 5971
Email: winnie(at)allproperty(dot)com(dot)sg

About PropertyGuru:
PropertyGuru was founded in 2006 as a self-funded company, with a vision to make the property search process a breeze for buyers, sellers and investors. Taking advantage of Asia’s growing affluence for property and the online boom, it received its first VC investment funding in 2008. Since then, the company has grown rapidly, reaping profits and positive cashflow in 2009 and tripling its revenue growth in 2010.

PropertyGuru is now Asia’s leading online property portal, with a presence in eight countries, including offices in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and partnerships with leading property websites in Australia, Hong Kong, India and Macau. It has over 4 million buyers viewing almost 50 million property pages monthly, with a growing database of 300,000 opted-in buyers and over 14,500 real estate agents.

PropertyGuru provides an integrated media platform that real estate developers and agencies can use to promote their brands and generate sales leads. The entire PropertyGuru community boasts 370,000 residential and commercial properties and clients include almost 1,000 prominent developers from Asia, Europe and the Americas, as well as over 14,500 real estate agents in Asia.

PropertyGuru has also won multiple awards, including the Hitwise “No.1 Website in the Property Industry” award, the Singapore IT Federation (SITF) award for “Best E-Enterprise Company 2010”, the Singapore Venture Capital & Private Equity Association (SVCA) award for “Best Performing VC Backed Company 2010”, Marketing Magazine’s “Top Digital Media of the Year 2010” award, CNBC World's “Best Property Portal Award 2009" and the "Google Zeitgeist Singapore 9th Fastest Rising Search Term 2009" award.

Asia’s Leading Property Portal Group includes:
http://www.PropertyGuru.com.sg is used by over 1.9 million consumers viewing 29 million pages, generating an estimated 225,000 leads for advertisers - every month. The site provides real-time access to multimedia-rich content covering property-related products, services, news, advice, guides, tools and the largest online property database in Singapore. It works closely with prominent real estate developers, housing agents and home-related firms locally and overseas.

http://www.CommercialGuru.com.sg was launched in August 2010 and is used by 140,000 business users browsing 1.6 million pages and generating an estimated 50,000 leads for advertisers every month. It is Singapore’s only independent, dedicated commercial and industrial property portal.

http://www.LoanGuru.com.sg was launched in January 2010 as an independent online mortgage brokerage, providing real-time access to over 300 mortgage packages from 23 major local and international banks. It processes approximately $60m of home loans per month.

http://www.HomeGuru.com.my is the leading Malaysian property portal set up as part of a joint venture between PropertyGuru and Malaysia’s RedBerry Media group in 2010. It has almost 240,000 users viewing over 1 million pages monthly and gives consumers a platform to find properties for purchase, sale, rental or investment and a direct channel to search for and contact agents. Designed with the end-user in mind, it features real-time access to multimedia-rich content, covering property-related products, services, news, advice, guides, tools and a rapidly growing online property database in Malaysia. It works closely with prominent real estate developers, housing agents and home-related firms in Malaysia and overseas.

http://www.FullHouse.com.my was established in 2005 for Malaysians to efficiently and conveniently search for properties on the Internet. It has grown in popularity, attracting almost 200,000 visitors viewing more than 1.2 million pages every month, to become one of Malaysia’s top property portals. With hundreds of housing projects and more than 80,000 property listings to date, Fullhouse.com.my is the preferred online marketing channel for major real estate players. It constantly explores ways to serve customers through innovative and effective strategies. The company’s objective is to enhance the experience of finding a new home and lead the industry into a new era of real estate marketing.

http://www.Rumah.com was founded in 2007 and is Indonesia's top property website, with over 600,000 visitors viewing 8 million pages every month. The website lists over 120,000 properties for sale and rent in Indonesia and has a database of 11,000 opted-in members. Rumah.com is an online media campaign that provides the ideal search experience for all types of property: residential, commercial and industrial. It allows sellers and renters to place on its site property advertisements which can be easily viewed by prospective buyers, who can search for property based on location and / or price.

http://www.DDProperty.com was established in 2005 to help Thai consumers find their desired properties for sale and rent in the fastest and most efficient way. Almost 740,000 visitors use the website every month making it Thailand’s top property search portals. DDProperty.com allows users to search for residential and commercial properties and constantly finds new ways to improve its navigation and search capabilities to allow consumers to find their dream property quickly.

For recent news, please visit http://www.propertyguru.com.sg/customer-service/press-releases.

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