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Archive for January, 2011

123INKJETS Didn’t Get the Printout on Evidence

Monday, January 10th, 2011

In the recent domain name dispute of LD Products, Inc. v. Webatopia Marketing Limited (Nat. Arb. Forum FA1360908 Jan, 7, 2011) a single member Panel was faced with a dispute over the domain www.123inkjetx.com. Complainant owns rights to the 123INKJETS mark, which is registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) (Reg. No. 3,212,566 issued February 27, 2007), in connection with online retail store services featuring inkjet printer cartridges, inkjet printer ink, filled inkjet printer ink cartridges, toner, toner cartridges and related accessories. Complainant also asserted common law rights in the 123INKJETS mark dating back to 1999. Complainant maintains a website at www.123inkjets.com. Respondent, registered the disputed domain name on October 19, 2004, which resolves to a click-through website featuring links to Complainant’s competitors.

Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy requires that Complainant must prove each of the following three elements to obtain an order that a domain name should be cancelled or transferred: (1) the domain name registered by Respondent is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which Complainant has rights; and (2) Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and (3) the domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

The Panel only made it through the first element in this case. Since the registration date of the domain predated the registration date for the trademark, Complainant was under an obligation to provide evidence of common law rights to the mark. The Panel explained that Complainant failed to “set forth sufficient evidence supporting” common law rights. It is unclear what evidence, if any was presented by Complainant since the Panel did not elaborate.

In light of the following findings, the Panel explained that Complainant failed to establish the first element. As a result the Panel declined to review the remaining elements. Ultimately, the Panel DENIED the request for transfer.

RUMBERA Loses Based on Domain Registration Six Years Prior to Use

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

In the recent domain name dispute of Pidela Holdings Inc. v. Purple Bucquet / Purple (Nat. Arb. Forum FA1356856, December 31, 2010) a single member panel was faced with a dispute over the domain www.rumberanetwork.com. Complainant is a radio and web broadcasting company using the mark RUMBERA NETWORK. Complainant obtained a registered mark in Panama in May 2010. The disputed domain was registered in August 2004. The Respondent did not file a response.

Paragraph 4(a) of the ICANN Policy requires that Complainant must prove each of the following three elements to obtain an order that a domain name should be cancelled or transferred: (1) the domain name registered by Respondent is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which Complainant has rights; and (2) Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and (3) the domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

The Panel quickly addressed the first element, noting that the registration was sufficient to establish its rights in the mark. The Panel found that the domain was essentially identical to the mark. Moving onto the second element, the Panel noted that Complainant presented a prima facie case that Respondent lacked any rights or legitimate interests in the domain. Included in the analysis was a review that Respondent was not commonly known by the disputed domain. Additionally, Complainant submitted evidence of screenshots showing the disputed domain containing links to competing products/services. For those reasons, the Panel found that Complainant satisfied the second prong.

The case turned though on the last element. The Panel noted that Complainant provided evidence only of its trademark registration dating back to May 2010. This was a problem for the Panel since the registration of the domain was six years earlier in 2004. For that reason the Panel concluded that the domain could not have been registered in bad faith.

Ultimately the Panel DENIED the request for transfer.

Domain Dispute With 5 Complainants and 25 Domains DENIED on Procedural Grounds

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

In the recent cybersquatting case of Grupo Bimbo S.A.B. de C.V., Bimbo Hungria ZRT., Arnold Products, Inc., Orograin Bakeries Products, Inc., Bimbo Bakeries USA, Inc. v. John Paulsen (WIPO Case No. D2010-1647, December 3, 2010) a single member Panel was faced with an interesting dispute brought by five (5) different Complainants seeking the transfer of 25 domains.

The domains at issues included <aboutgrupobimbo.com>, <arnoldfillems.com>, <bagelthin.com>, <bagelthins.com>, <bimbobrands.com>, <bimbobreads.com>, <bobolipizza.com>, <bobolipizzacrust.com>, <bobolisauce.com>, <brownberrybreads.com>, <brownberryjr.com>, <coronadocandy.com>, <entenmannscakes.com>, <entenmannscookies.com>, <entenmannsdonuts.com>, <fillems.com>, <franciscobreads.com>, <freihofersbread.com>, <laracookies.com>, <oldcountrybreads.com>, <oroweatbread.com>, <sandwichthin.com>, <stroehmannbread.com>, <tiarosatortilla.com> and <tiarosatortillas.com>.

The Panel explained that Grupo Bimbo is a large and internationally known baking company. and that the other Complainants appeared to be subsidiaries. Each of the Complainants individually owned trademark registrations and rights in one or more trademarks. The marks being claimed included GRUPO BIMBO, BIMBO, TIA ROSA, CORONADO, LARA, SANDWICH THINS, BROWNBERRY, FILL `EMS, BOBOLI, ENTENMANN’S, FREIHOFER’S, STROEHMANN, FRANCISCO, OLD COUNTRY, and OROWEAT.

Respondent filed a response which did not address the merits of the case, but the Panel explained that Respondent instead asserts that the process provided for under the UDRP is corrupt and inherently unfair in that “it favors the haves and unfairly penalizes and punishes the have nots”. The Respondent states that he does not recognize “the authority of WIPO or any other would be ‘World Policing Organization’”, and that he is certain his domain names “will be stolen” by the Complainants and their attorneys.

The remainder of the decision focused on the singular procedural issue of whether or not multiple complainants in this case was appropriate. The Panel explained:

The Policy and the Rules do not expressly contemplate the consolidation of multiple complainants (or respondents) in a unitary administrative proceeding, and generally speak in singular terms of a “complainant” when referring to proceedings under the Policy. This Panel, along with a number of WIPO Panels, nonetheless has concluded that the use of the singular “complainant” in the Policy and Rules was not meant to preclude multiple legal persons in appropriate circumstances from jointly seeking relief in a single administrative proceeding under the Policy.

The Panel recognized that prior Panels have allowed consolidation and that a “test” has been created for the determination of whether it is appropriate. The factors to be analyzed for consolidation are as follows:

(1) Number of complainants; (2) Number of domain names; (3) Voluminous filings; (4) Novel, difficult or largely untested issues; and (5) Potential for different outcomes for domain name disputes depending on nature of rights asserted.

The Panel reviewed these factors and found that there were too many overriding procedural issues to efficiently decide the case on its merits. For instance the Panel explained:

As a result, there appear to be different issues to be addressed under the first element of the Policy involving the disputed domain names <bagelthins.com> and <bagelthin.com> arising from the differing nature of the rights asserted by the Complainants in BAGEL THINS. In addition the descriptiveness question referred to above may also create the potential for different outcomes with respect to these disputed domain names under the second or third elements of the Policy. And, as noted earlier, <bagelthins.com> initially was used by the Respondent in a way that it appears the other disputed domain names have not been used. For all of the foregoing reasons, the Panel after careful consideration is not persuaded that the Complainants have made a sufficient showing to permit consolidation of the multiple complainants involved here. The Panel is concerned among other things that a multiplicity of issues could render the summary and expedited dispute resolution process envisioned by the Policy inefficient or ineffective, or even raise issues concerning fairness and equity.

Ultimately the Panel DENIED the request for transfer, but did so without prejudice, permitting the Complainants to re-file individually.

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