logo

Posts Tagged ‘Denied’

RUMBERA Loses Based on Domain Registration Six Years Prior to Use

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

In the recent domain name dispute of Pidela Holdings Inc. v. Purple Bucquet / Purple (Nat. Arb. Forum FA1356856, December 31, 2010) a single member panel was faced with a dispute over the domain www.rumberanetwork.com. Complainant is a radio and web broadcasting company using the mark RUMBERA NETWORK. Complainant obtained a registered mark in Panama in May 2010. The disputed domain was registered in August 2004. The Respondent did not file a response.

Paragraph 4(a) of the ICANN 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 quickly addressed the first element, noting that the registration was sufficient to establish its rights in the mark. The Panel found that the domain was essentially identical to the mark. Moving onto the second element, the Panel noted that Complainant presented a prima facie case that Respondent lacked any rights or legitimate interests in the domain. Included in the analysis was a review that Respondent was not commonly known by the disputed domain. Additionally, Complainant submitted evidence of screenshots showing the disputed domain containing links to competing products/services. For those reasons, the Panel found that Complainant satisfied the second prong.

The case turned though on the last element. The Panel noted that Complainant provided evidence only of its trademark registration dating back to May 2010. This was a problem for the Panel since the registration of the domain was six years earlier in 2004. For that reason the Panel concluded that the domain could not have been registered in bad faith.

Ultimately the Panel DENIED the request for transfer.

Domain Dispute With 5 Complainants and 25 Domains DENIED on Procedural Grounds

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

In the recent cybersquatting case of Grupo Bimbo S.A.B. de C.V., Bimbo Hungria ZRT., Arnold Products, Inc., Orograin Bakeries Products, Inc., Bimbo Bakeries USA, Inc. v. John Paulsen (WIPO Case No. D2010-1647, December 3, 2010) a single member Panel was faced with an interesting dispute brought by five (5) different Complainants seeking the transfer of 25 domains.

The domains at issues included <aboutgrupobimbo.com>, <arnoldfillems.com>, <bagelthin.com>, <bagelthins.com>, <bimbobrands.com>, <bimbobreads.com>, <bobolipizza.com>, <bobolipizzacrust.com>, <bobolisauce.com>, <brownberrybreads.com>, <brownberryjr.com>, <coronadocandy.com>, <entenmannscakes.com>, <entenmannscookies.com>, <entenmannsdonuts.com>, <fillems.com>, <franciscobreads.com>, <freihofersbread.com>, <laracookies.com>, <oldcountrybreads.com>, <oroweatbread.com>, <sandwichthin.com>, <stroehmannbread.com>, <tiarosatortilla.com> and <tiarosatortillas.com>.

The Panel explained that Grupo Bimbo is a large and internationally known baking company. and that the other Complainants appeared to be subsidiaries. Each of the Complainants individually owned trademark registrations and rights in one or more trademarks. The marks being claimed included GRUPO BIMBO, BIMBO, TIA ROSA, CORONADO, LARA, SANDWICH THINS, BROWNBERRY, FILL `EMS, BOBOLI, ENTENMANN’S, FREIHOFER’S, STROEHMANN, FRANCISCO, OLD COUNTRY, and OROWEAT.

Respondent filed a response which did not address the merits of the case, but the Panel explained that Respondent instead asserts that the process provided for under the UDRP is corrupt and inherently unfair in that “it favors the haves and unfairly penalizes and punishes the have nots”. The Respondent states that he does not recognize “the authority of WIPO or any other would be ‘World Policing Organization’”, and that he is certain his domain names “will be stolen” by the Complainants and their attorneys.

The remainder of the decision focused on the singular procedural issue of whether or not multiple complainants in this case was appropriate. The Panel explained:

The Policy and the Rules do not expressly contemplate the consolidation of multiple complainants (or respondents) in a unitary administrative proceeding, and generally speak in singular terms of a “complainant” when referring to proceedings under the Policy. This Panel, along with a number of WIPO Panels, nonetheless has concluded that the use of the singular “complainant” in the Policy and Rules was not meant to preclude multiple legal persons in appropriate circumstances from jointly seeking relief in a single administrative proceeding under the Policy.

The Panel recognized that prior Panels have allowed consolidation and that a “test” has been created for the determination of whether it is appropriate. The factors to be analyzed for consolidation are as follows:

(1) Number of complainants; (2) Number of domain names; (3) Voluminous filings; (4) Novel, difficult or largely untested issues; and (5) Potential for different outcomes for domain name disputes depending on nature of rights asserted.

The Panel reviewed these factors and found that there were too many overriding procedural issues to efficiently decide the case on its merits. For instance the Panel explained:

As a result, there appear to be different issues to be addressed under the first element of the Policy involving the disputed domain names <bagelthins.com> and <bagelthin.com> arising from the differing nature of the rights asserted by the Complainants in BAGEL THINS. In addition the descriptiveness question referred to above may also create the potential for different outcomes with respect to these disputed domain names under the second or third elements of the Policy. And, as noted earlier, <bagelthins.com> initially was used by the Respondent in a way that it appears the other disputed domain names have not been used. For all of the foregoing reasons, the Panel after careful consideration is not persuaded that the Complainants have made a sufficient showing to permit consolidation of the multiple complainants involved here. The Panel is concerned among other things that a multiplicity of issues could render the summary and expedited dispute resolution process envisioned by the Policy inefficient or ineffective, or even raise issues concerning fairness and equity.

Ultimately the Panel DENIED the request for transfer, but did so without prejudice, permitting the Complainants to re-file individually.

A Fight Over Wood Means Lots Of Splinters

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

In the recent cybersquatting dispute of Greenply Industries Limited v. Matthew Poston WIPO Case No. D2010-1748, November 29, 2010, single member panel was face with a dispute over the domain www.greenply.net. Complainant is a supplier of plywood and laminate to the Indian market and has multiple Indian trademark registrations.  Complainant also maintains a website at www.greenply.com. Respondent registered the disputed domain in October 2008 and filed a Response to the dispute. Respondent filed for a U.S. trademark registration for the mark GREENPLY in February 2008, and it was published for opposition in July 2008. Respondent argued that since the USPTO had moved the application to publication, he believed that the registration of the domain was not in bad faith.

According to paragraph 4(a) of the ICANN UDRP Policy, for this Complaint to succeed in relation to the Domain Name, the Complainant must prove each of the following, namely that: (i) The Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to a trade mark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; and (ii) The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name; and (iii) The Domain Name was registered and is being used in bad faith.

The Panel quickly addressed the first element, noting that the domain was identical to Complainant’s mark. The case turned on the second prong. The Panel noted that Complainant failed to present evidence demonstrating business in the U.S. prior to the Respondent’s registration of the domain. Additionally the Panel notes there was nothing in the record to indicate that Respondent’s intention to target Complainant’s brand. The Panel further rejected any contention that there has been confusion based upon a lack of evidence presented.

The Panel did not address the third prong in light of finding that Respondent established rights or legitimate interests in the domain. Ultimately the Panel DENIED the request for transfer.

3D Glasses Not Needed In UDRP Loss

Monday, December 6th, 2010

In the recent UDRP case of X6D Limited v. Telepathy, Inc. (WIPO Case No. D2010-1519, November 16, 2010) a three member Panel was faced with a dispute over the domain www.xpand.com. Complainant is a supplier of 3D solutions for movie theaters and home use and maintains a website at www.xpandcinema.com. Complainant owns a trademark registration for the mark XPAND BEYOND CINEMA and has pending applications for the single word mark XPAND. The disputed domain was registered on June 25, 2003, which was 3 years prior to the alleged date of first use of the marks by Complainant.

Under paragraph 4(a) of the 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.

The Panel found that Complainant established the first prong, since the essence of the registred mark was incorporated into the domain. In addressing the second prong the Panel noted that Respondent alleged the domain was generic or at least descriptive. The Panel found that the word “xpand” was descriptive as a short hand for the word “expand.” The Panel recognized the commercial value of descriptive words, which when such domains are offered for sale can be considered a bona fide offering of goods or services.

The case ultimately seemed to weigh heavily on the third prong, wherein the Panel explained:

The Respondent acquired the disputed domain name in 2003. The Complainant did not use the XpanD Mark until September 2006, more than three years after the Respondent registered the disputed domain name. The Complainant did not provide any explanation as to how the Respondent could possibly have been aware of the Complainant and the Complainant’s mark when registering the disputed domain name.

After making a finding that Complainant failed to prove all three elements, the Panel moved its attention to Respondent’s request for a finding of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking. The Panel explained:

In the present case, the Complainant did not provide any explanation as to how the Respondent could possibly have been aware of the Complainant and the Complainant’s mark when registering the disputed domain name, which occurred more than three years before the Complainant started using its XpanD Mark. The Panel therefore accepts the Respondent’s allegation that the Complainant is using the UDRP as an alternative purchase strategy after the acquisition of the disputed domain name failed. Therefore, the Panel finds that the Complaint was brought in bad faith, in an attempt of reverse domain name hijacking: The Complainant knew or should have known at the time it filed the Complaint that it could not prove that the domain name was registered in bad faith.

Ultimately the Panel DENIED the request for Transfer.

ENERGYFIX Needs A Fix After Ruling of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking

Monday, October 25th, 2010

In the recent domain name dispute of Suzannah R. Noonan v. Kevin Sneed FA1343308 (Nat. Arb. Forum October 22, 2010) a single member panel was faced with a domain name dispute over the domain www.energyfix.com. Complainant claims ownership to the mark ENEGRYFIX, which was registered on July 24, 2001, filed on April 27, 2000 and bears an alleged first use date of April 1, 2000. The disputed domain was registered by Respondent on August 24, 1999, approximately seven month prior to Complainant’s first use of the mark. Respondent contended and provided supporting evidence that he began selling “superfood” products via the disputed domain name on November 28, 1999.

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.

The Panel reviewed the elements and found that the domain was confusingly similar to Complainant’s mark. In addressing the second element the Panel made the following observations:

Under Policy ¶ 4(c)(i), use of a domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods is sufficient to establish rights or legitimate interests in the domain name for purposes of ¶ 4(a)(ii).  Respondent operated an online store using the disputed domain name for at least eight and a half years, beginning four months prior to Complainant’s first use of the ENERGYFIX mark and twenty-one months prior to the registration of that mark.  By doing so, Respondent established his rights and legitimate interest in the disputed domain name.

In addressing the third element, bad faith, the Panel continued its observations that no bad faith could have existed in light of the earlier registration of the domain compared with the first use of the mark.

The case became interesting with the Panel’s discussion regarding Reverse Domain Name Hijacking. The Panel noted:

The Panel is troubled by Complainant’s attempt to secure <energyfix.com>, a domain name that was registered and used to sell goods for months before Complainant’s first use of the ENERGYFIX mark.  A simple WHOIS search would have informed Complainant that the disputed domain name had been registered seven months before her first use of the ENERGYFIX mark and therefore could not have been registered in bad faith.  It is also evident from the Complaint that Complainant was aware that Respondent was selling goods using the disputed domain name, one of the activities that gives rise to rights and legitimate interests in a domain name….A long delay in filing a complaint can also give rise to an inference that a complainant with a flawed claim knew that it had a flawed claim, providing further support for a finding of bad faith.

Ultimately, the Panel found that Complainant failed to prove the elements and made a finding that Complainant engaged in Reverse Domain Name Hijacking.

RED BULL’s Wings Failed Them This Time

Friday, October 15th, 2010

 

In the recent domain name dispute of Red Bull GmbH v. Roy Kenneth Nabben (WIPO Case No. D2010-1358, September 30, 2010) a single member Panel was faced with a dispute over the domain www.redbullnorge.com. RED BULL is the well known energy drink which does not need much of in introduction. RED BULL maintains a website at www.redbull.com. Respondent filed a response noting that the domain was registered in order for Respondent to sell Red Bull to residents of Norway. “Norge” means Normway, thus the domain name was aptly chosen in light of the proposed usage. The decision explained that the sale of the drink in Norway was not legal, and the parties would work toward getting the product legalized for sale in Norway. The decision notes that the relationship between the parties was done by agreement, and that RED BULL knew and approved of Respondents registration and use of the domain.

In accordance with paragraph 4(a) of the ICANN UDRP 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 it has rights; (ii) that the Respondent has 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.

The Panel quickly found that the first prong of confusingly similar was met. Then the Panel also quickly dispensed of the second prong, noting that under 4(a)(ii) of the UDRP the registrant can satisfy this prong by showing that it once had such rights but no longer retains a right to use the disputed domain name.

The crux of the case came down to the third element, bad faith registration and use. The Panel explained:

[T]he Panel considers that, to satisfy the third requirement of the UDRP, a complainant must show that the domain name was both registered in bad faith and is being used in bad faith, and that a registration originally made in good faith cannot turn into a registration in bad faith because the registrant subsequently uses it in bad faith. Bad faith use can be evidence of bad faith registration but cannot convert a registration which was in fact made in good faith into a registration made in bad faith…But where a company consents to the registration by a trading partner of a domain name incorporating its mark, the company can readily protect itself by securing a clear written agreement specifying that it will own the domain name after the trading relationship comes to an end; and the agreement can further specify a cost effective means of dispute resolution. At all events this situation is a long way from the mischief which the UDRP was devised and adopted to address, namely the abusive registration of domain names which are identical or confusingly similar to the marks of other parties without their consent. In any case, the Panel is obliged to apply the UDRP as it is, rather than as it could or should be.

Ultimately the Panel found that RED BULL failed to satisfy all three elements and DENIED the request for transfer.

3 Strikes for RAPIDSHARE

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

In another domain name dispute filed by RAPIDSHARE, the concept of owning the word RAPID was denied for the third time. In RapidShare AG and Christian Schmid v. Protected Domain Services Customer ID: NCR-785723/ n/a Sergey Vlasov (WIPO Case No. D2010-1106, August 27, 2010) a single member Panel was faced with a dispute over the domain www.rapid4me.com. We have previously blogged about the two prior failures of RAPIDSHARE’s attempts to own the word “rapid.” However, each time the Panel has found this was too much and that RAPIDSHARE did not use RAPID as a mark and was not commonly known by the name RAPID.

To succeed, the Complainant must demonstrate that all of the elements enumerated in paragraph 4(a) of the Policy have been satisfied: (i) the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; 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 this case the Panel cited to some of the prior decisions, both for and against RAPIDSHARE, and noted that in the prior denial cases, such as RapidShare AG, Christian Schmid v. N/A Maxim Tvortsov, WIPO Case No. D2010-0696, that Panel found that www.rapidbay.net was not able to be transferred under the policy. This Panel adopted many of the same arguments, however did not get past the first element of whether or not the domain was identical or confusingly similar to the RAPIDSHARE mark. The Panel chose not to review the remaining elements.

RAPIDSHARE, Tries But Fails Again To Own The Word “RAPID”

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

   

In the recent domain name dispute decision of RapidShare AG and Christian Schmid v. Ilya, Ilya Efimov WIPO Case No. D2010-1105 (August 17, 2010) a single member Panel was faced with a dispute over the domain www.rapid.org. As we previously posted on July 13, 2010, RAPID SHARE tried to claim rights to the word RAPID when seeking to get the “rapidbay.net” domain. (See post here) Complaint, Rapid Share is the well known file-hosting website which maintains a website at www.rapidshare.com. The Respondent did file a reply to the Complaint, and cited to the previous decision regarding RAPIDSHARE’s lack of rights to the word RAPID. 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 in this case made similar findings to the previous rapidbay.net decision. The Panel noted that no evidence was put forth by RAPIDSHARE to show that it was frequently referred to as “RAPID.” The Panel found this to be fatal to Complainant’s case. Ultimately, the Panel found that Complainant failed to establish identical or confusingly similar elements as required under the policy. The Panel DENIED the request for transfer.

MY HEALTH Unable To Find The Right Prescription For Success

Monday, August 30th, 2010

        

In the recent domain name dispute decision My Health, Inc. v. Top Tier Consulting, Inc. FA1332064 (Nat. Arb. Forum August 26, 2010) a single member Panel was faced with a dispute over the domain www.myhealth.com. Complainant is owns a trademark for MY HEALTH, related to, among other things, a website for medical professionals. Additionally, Complainant maintains a website at www.myhealthincorporated.com. Respondent filed a Response to the dispute, contending it registered the domain prior to the Complainant ever being in business.

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.

 Both parties made objections to the level of authenticity of documents required, but the Panel explained as follows: “The Panel reminds the parties of UDRP Policy Rules ¶¶ 3(b)(xv), 5(b)(ix), and 10(d), which in sum direct all parties to submit their complete evidence and that the Panel ‘shall determine the admissibility, relevance, materiality and weight of the evidence.’”

Moving onto the substance of the dispute, the Panel quickly found that the disputed domain was identical or confusingly similar to Complainant’s mark under Policy ¶ 4(a)(i). In addressing the next prong, whether the Respondent had any rights or legitimate interests in the domain, the Panel explained that Complainant made its prima facie case. The Panel found that “Respondent’s failure to make an active use of the disputed domain name for the last three years is evidence that Respondent lacks rights and legitimate interests in the disputed domain name as Respondent is not using the disputed domain name for either a bona fide offering of goods and services pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(c)(i) or a legitimate noncommercial or fair use pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(c)(iii).” The Panel also noted that the burden then shifted to Respondent to prove otherwise.

The Panel then detailed Respondents assertions about its preparations for the website as follows:

Respondent argues that it has made efforts to seek funding for its medical website and has thus demonstrated use and preparations to use the disputed domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services, namely personal healthcare and related services.  Respondent asserts that its goal has been to use the disputed domain name for a consumer healthcare portal website to put healthcare in the hands of patients and doctors, where appointments with doctors can be made, prior visits confirmed, physician consults made online, and informed decisions made when searching for a new physician.  Respondent further asserts that it has conducted a number of meetings to develop the website by either financing or joint ventures. 

Interestingly, the Panel agreed and found that these preparations were a bona fide offering of goods or services. The Panel moved onto the final prong, bad faith, and explained that there was no evidence presented by Complainant of any bad faith purchase or use of the disputed domain.

Respondent asserts, correctly, that there is no evidence that Respondent has either registered or used the domain name in bad faith as Respondent registered the disputed domain name more than fourteen months before Complainant or its MY HEALTH mark even existed.  Respondent indicates that it purchased the <myhealth.com> domain name in early February 2007 for $150,000.   Respondent further contends that this was long before Complainant’s first use of the MY HEALTH mark in mid-April 2008.  The Panel finds that Respondent’s purchase and registration of the disputed domain name nearly fourteen months before Complainant’s first use of its mark in commerce is evidence that Respondent has not engaged in bad faith registration as defined in the Policy.

The Panel, on its own noted that it could be determined that this was a case of reverse domain name hijacking, but since it was not raised nor briefed by either party it would not make such a finding. Ultimately, the Panel found that Complainant failed to establish all the elements and DENIED the request for transfer.

Fender Guitars Playing Sad Song After Losing Dispute

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

     

In the recent case of Fender Musical Instruments Corporation v. Christopher Ruth (Nat. Arb. Forum FA1333857 August 9, 2010), a single member Panel was faced with a dispute over the domain www.fendercustomshop.com. Complainant Fender Musical Instruments Corporation, is the well known seller of musical instruments, amplifiers, and accessories.  Complainant holds numerous trademark registrations with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) for the FENDER mark (e.g., Reg. No. 805,075 registered on March 8, 1966). Fender maintains a website at www.fender.com. Respondent registered the disputed domain in 2003 and failed to respond to this 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.

The Panel quickly dispensed with the first prong, noting that “Based on precedent and Complainant’s trademark registrations, the Panel finds Complainant has sufficiently proved its rights in the FENDER mark pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(a)(I).” The Panel found that Respondent merely added the descriptive phrase “custom shop “ at the end of the domain, which was not enough to distinguish it from the FENDER mark.

Moving to the second prong, the Panel explained that Fender must make a prima facie case that Respondent lacked any rights or legitimate interests in the domain. The Panel found as follows:

Here, Complainant claims Respondent made no use of, or any demonstrable preparations to use, the disputed domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services.  However, Complainant fails to allege any facts related to Respondent’s use or provide any screen shots of Respondent’s resolving website.  The Panel finds Complainant’s assertions, without any supporting evidence or analysis, do not sufficiently establish Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the <fendercustomshop.com> domain name.  Therefore, the Panel finds Complainant has failed to make a prima facie case showing Respondent lacks rights and legitimate interests under Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii).

For these reasons, the Panel found that Fender failed to prove up its case, and the Panel declined to review the final element. Ultimately, the Panel DENIED Fender’s request for transfer of the domain.

Switch to our mobile site