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APPLE Waited Four Years, But Now Owns IPOD NANO

     ipodnano

In the recent domain name dispute decision of APPLE INC. v. Fusion Media Ltd. FA1288071, (Nat. Arb. Forum, November 18, 2009) a single member Panel was faced with a dispute over the domain www.ipodnano.com. Apple needs no introduction, nor should an explanation of the iPod be needed. If you are so curious and have been living under a rock though, please go to www.ipod.com or www.apple.com. Respondent registered the disputed domain in September 2005 and failed to respond to the dispute.

Paragraph 4(a) of the ICANN UDRP 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 examined the first element of the Policy, noting that Apple had sufficient rights and trademark registrations for the IPOD mark. It found that the addition of the word “nano” created a confusing similarity to Apple’s IPOD mark since it has an obvious relationship to the products sold. The Panel found that Apple satisfied this element.

Moving to the second element, the Panel explained that Apple presented a prima facie case, but decided to review the record anyway. The Panel found that Respondent was not commonly known by the disputed domain. Additionally, the Panel explained:

Complainant argues that Respondent’s <ipodnano.com> domain name resolves to a website soliciting Internet user’s personal information, presumably for marketing leads, by offering a “giveaway” of ipod nanos.  The Panel finds that Respondent’s use of the disputed domain name to redirect Internet users to Respondent’s website soliciting personal information by promising a “giveaway” of ipod nanos, presumably for financial gain, does not constitute a bona fide offering of goods or services pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(c)(i) or a legitimate noncommercial or fair use pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(c)(iii).

As a result, the Panel found that Apple satisfied the second element. The Panel, in addressing the last element, bad faith, explained that Respondent’s use of the disputed domain intentionally caused a likelihood of confusion. Additionally, Respondent commercially benefitted by gaining marketting leads through the web site. For these reasons, the Panel found this third element was satisfied.

Ultimately, the Panel found that Apple proved all three elements and ordered the domain be TRANSFERRED.

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One Response to “APPLE Waited Four Years, But Now Owns IPOD NANO”

  1. Lorena Saurel Says:

    Thanks! That was very informative, I just bookmarked your url.

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