In the recent domain name dispute decision of Kate Hudson v. Fei Zhu FA1290319 (Nat. Arb. Forum, December 8, 2009) a three member Panel was faced with a dispute over the domain www.katehudson.com. Kate Hudson is the famous actress who has been in countless movies, and according to the decision has used her name commercially since 1999. Respondent registered the domain in 2006 and failed to respond to the Complaint.
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.
In addressing the first element, the Panel noted that Kate Hudson did not have a federal trademark registration for her name, but reviewed the information provided to determine if she could establish secondary meaning in her common law rights. The Panel found that she had established those rights through continuos and extensive commercial use that predated the registration of the domain. The Panel determined that the disputed domain was identical to the KATE HUDSON mark.
Moving to the second element, rights or legitimate interests, the Panel explained that Kate Hudson made out a prima facie case under this section of the Policy. As a result the Panel concluded that since the burden shifts to Respondent and Respondent failed to provide a response, then there was no evidence suggesting any rights or legitimate interests.
In addrrssing the final element, bad faith, the Panel noted that the disputed domain resolved to a parked web site with unrelated third-party links and adult oriented links. This was found to be bad faith, in and of itself. For these reasons, the Panel’s analysis stopped there.
Ultimately, the Panel found that all three elements were shown and ordered the domain be TRANSFERRED.