Hasbro Tells MONOPOLY Cybersquatter “Do Not Pass Go…”

monopoly     hasbro

In the recent cybersquatting decision of Hasbro, Inc. v. City of Media FA1302591 (Nat. Arb. Forum, February 25, 2010) a single member Panel was faced with a dispute over the domain www.monopolybingo.com. Hasbro is the famous game producer of the Monopoly board game, which has been played by approximately 750 million people worldwide. Habsro maintains to relevant web site, namely www.monopoly.com and www.hasbro.com. The MONOPOLY mark has been used in the U.S. since 1935 and Hasbro has been promoting its online version of the game for a few years. Respondent registered the disputed domain on November 10, 2008.

Paragraph 4(a) of the ICANN UDRP Policy requires that the 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 the Respondent is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; (2) the 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.

In addressing the first element, the Panel noted Hasbro established rights to the mark MONOPOLY and that the disputed domain merely added the generic word bingo. The Panel found that the domain was confusingly similar to Complainant’s mark.

Moving to the second element, the Panel explained that Respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain. Additionally, the disputed domain resolved to a wbe site which had third party links and advertisements. The Panel determined that Respondent profited from click through fees generated from these links. Therefore, the use of the site was not a bona fide offering of goods or services and the Panel found Complainant satisfied this element as well.

Finally, the last element, bad faith, the Panel found that some of the third party links displayed the MONOPOLY trademark and some of the links directly competed with the gaming services provided by Hasbro. The Panel believed this domain sought to disrupt Hasbro’s business by redirecting consumers to competitors.
For these reasons, the Panel found that Complainant satisfied all the elements and ordered the domain be TRANSFERRED.

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