logo

Posts Tagged ‘Celebrity’

PAM ANDERSON Gets Her Name

Friday, October 1st, 2010

        

In the recent cybersquatting case of Pamela Anderson v. Alberta Hot Rods Case No. D2010-1144 (WIPO September 8, 2010) a three member panel was faced with a dispute over the domain www.pamanderson.com. Pamela Anderson is well known for her acting and modeling. She has multiple trademark registration for the mark PAMELA ANDERSON. She maintains a website at www.pamelaanderson.com. Respondent registered the disputed domain on March 1, 1997 and filed a Response to the Complaint. The parties have been involved in an earlier UDRP proceeding concerning the domain names <pamelaanderson.com>, <pamelaanderson.net> and <pamelalee.com>, which resulted in the transfer of those domain names (see Pamela Anderson v. Alberta Hot Rods, WIPO Case No. D2002-1104).

Under paragraph 4(a) of the ICANN UDRP Policy, the Complainant must prove that each of the following three elements is present: (i) the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark; and (ii) the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name; and (iii) the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

In addressing the first element, the Panel explained that it must view Anderson’s rights in the mark based on common law, since the Federal trademark rights do not predate the registration of the domain. A discussion of common law rights extending to an abbreviation of Anderson’s first name from PAMELA to PAM, concluded in a finding that it could be found to be confusingly similar. The Panel was satisfied that the domain was confusingly similar to the mark.

Moving on to the second element, the Panel noted that Anderson claims the Respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain and does not have authorization to use the domain or mark. The Panel noted the following arguments presented by Respondent:

The Respondent claims to have, as a respected publisher of a wealth of information, including biographical data, used the disputed domain name in connection with various websites in the past, all featuring biographical information about various famous personalities, dead or alive. However, the Respondent did not provide any evidence of any contemplated good faith use and therefore failed to prove rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name under the Policy.

The Panel found this element also favored Complainant. Moving onto the final element, bad faith registration and use, the Panel made the following observations regarding Respondent knowledge and actions.

Given the Complainant’s broad media coverage and the fact that the Respondent registered the disputed domain name in a chronological sequence with the domain names disputed in Pamela Anderson v. Alberta Hot Rods, supra, (<pamelaanderson.com> registered on November 6, 1996; <pamanderson.com> registered on March 1, 1997; <pamelalee.com> registered on March 27, 1997; <pamelaanderson.net> registered on February 25, 1998), it is inconceivable that the Respondent registered the disputed domain name without knowledge of the Complainant’s rights. This finding is further supported by the fact that the Complainant seems drawn towards registering well-known people’s names as domain names and therefore seems to be familiar with or at least interested in celebrities. The Panel is therefore satisfied that the Respondent registered the disputed domain name in bad faith under paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy.

The Panel also applied the consensus view regarding lack of active use of a domain, and explained “In the view of the Panel, the facts of this case do not allow for any plausible actual or contemplated active use of the disputed domain name by the Respondent in good faith. The Panel is therefore convinced that, even though the disputed domain name has not yet been actively used, the Respondent’s non-use of the disputed domain name amounts to use in bad faith.”

Ultimately, the Panel found that all elements were satisfied and ordered the domain be Transferred. This decision was not unanimous though as one of the Panelists provided a dissenting opinion. Additionally, The Panel dismissed the request for Reverse Domain Name Highjacking presented by Respondent.

Kate Hudson Joins The List Of Celebs Getting Their Name Back

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

      kate_hudson  kate_hudson-2

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.

Ashley Judd Gets Her Name and Domain… Thirteen Years Later.

Thursday, October 8th, 2009

      ashley_judd

In the recent domain name dispute decision of Ashley Judd v. Alberta Hot Rods, Jeff Burgar (WIPO D2009-1099, September 25, 2009), a single member Panel was faced with a dispute over the domain www.ashleyjudd.com. Judd is the well known actress who has appeared in countless film and television roles throughout the 1990’s and 2000’s. Respondent registered the disputed domain in 1996 and failed to reply to the Complaint.

In accordance with paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, in order to succeed in this proceeding, the Complainant must prove (i) that the Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to a mark in which she has rights; (ii) that the Respondents have no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name; and (iii) that the Domain Name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

In addressing the first element, the Panel noted that Judd had common law rights in her name.

It is well-established that where an actor has a sufficient reputation for her professional work under her name or stage name, that name is a marke in which she has rights for the purpose of the UDRP: see, for example, Julia Fiona Roberts v. Russell Boyd, WIPO Case No. D2000-0210. The Panel finds on the evidence that the Complainant has amply sufficient reputation to satisfy this requirement. As a result, the Panel found the Judd satisfied the first element.

Moving to the second element, the Panel found that Respondent had failed to use the domain in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services. Instead the panel found that the disputed domain was used to drive traffic to another web site with the intention of obtaining revenue from sponsored links. The Panel also found that Respondent was not commonly known by the disputed domain.

Moving to the final element, bad faith, the Panel noted that Judd’s reputation as an actress had been well established by 1996. Additionally, the Panel found that Respondent engaged in a pattern of registering domain containing names of famous actors and celebrities. The Panel declined to apply any possible defense of laches. Ultimately, the Panel found that there was no contrary evidence and concluded that Judd satisfied all the elements. The Panel ordered the domain be TRANSFERRED.

Switch to our mobile site