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RAPIDSHARE Doesn’t Own the Rights to RAPID

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In the recent domain name dispute decision of RapidShare AG , Christian Schmid v. N/A Maxim Tvortsov WIPO Case No. D2010-0696 (June 22, 2010) a single member Panel was faced with a dispute over the domain www.rapidbay.net. Complaint, Rapid Share is the well known file-hosting website which maintains a website at www.rapidshare.com. The respondent did not reply to the Complaint, but the domain was registered on September 22, 2009. Complainant owns a Community Trademark for RAPIDSHARE with a priority date of 2005.

Under Paragraph 4(a) of the ICANN UDRP Policy, a complainant has the burden of proving the following: (i) That the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights; and (ii) That the respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name; and (iii) That the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

The Panel addressed the first prong of the test, and noted that Complainant was unable to establish ownership rights to RAPIDBAY or to the word RAPID. The Panel compare the mark RAPIDSHARE with the disputed domain and could not find enough of a similarity. The Panel explained that there was no evidence presented by Complainant to show how the two names were confusingly similar. Interestingly, the Panel noted there was a disclaimer present on the website, based on a review of a cached page of the disputed domain, which noted they were not affiliated with RAPIDSHARE. Hoever, this was not addressed in the substantive portions of the decision. The Panel found that this prong was not met and declined to review the remainder of the prongs. The Panel ended its decision with this statement.

Where a complainant’s mark consists of a combination of two common descriptive or generic words, and only one of those words has been used in the disputed domain name, satisfying the requirements of Paragraph 4(a)(i) can be a formidable task. So it has proved in this case.

Ultimately, the Panel DENIED the request for transfer.

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One Response to “RAPIDSHARE Doesn’t Own the Rights to RAPID”

  1. Rapidshare Cries about Intellectual Property Rights « The Legal Satyricon Says:

    […] H/T: Defend My Domain Blog […]

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