While browsing the WIPO archives I came across a decision that caught my attention:
Although I’m subscribed to the daily newsletter I must have missed that one which was published back in January.
Gabor Varga and Jozsef Petho have registered a very large number of IE domains over the past year or so and while some of them may be generic in nature a large number of them reflect other companies’ trademarks and intellectual property.
This fact was not lost on the complainant:
The Respondents have registered a number of other business names and corresponding domain names on the .ie ccTLD, which relate to a number of well-known third party trademarks such as ADIDAS, IPOD, NIKE and ECONOMIST that, like the domain name in dispute in casu, resolve to the Respondents’ website at the
The Complainant submits that the Respondents’ efforts to attract Internet users to their website through confusion with the Complainant’s Protected Identifiers and other well-known third party trademarks obviate any possibility that the domain name
is being used in connection with either the good faith offering of goods or services or operation of a business.
They also note that the method of registration, while compliant with the IEDR’s policies, was clearly aimed at abusing them:
The Complainant also submits that the registration of a business name per se does not constitute evidence of a demonstrable preparation to use the domain name n connection with a good faith offering of goods or services, or operation of a business in accordance with paragraph 3.1.1 of the IEDR Policy, as the purpose of such a business name registration is merely to enable the Respondents to comply with the formal registration requirements of the .ie Domain Registry in order to register the domain name in dispute.
The response from Messrs. Varga and Petho did not convince the panel for a number of reasons, but the one that is quite salient is:
The Complainants have submitted that the Respondents are stockpiling a large number of Internet domain names that include well known trademarks. In particular the Complainants allege that the Respondents have registered a number of other business names and corresponding .ie domain names, which relate to a number of well-known third party trademarks such as ADIDAS, IPOD, NIKE and ECONOMIST that resolve to the Respondents’ website at “www.eubrowser.com”. The Respondents have had the opportunity to address this allegation and have chosen not to do so.
The Respondent’s failure to explain why they have registered a portfolio of domain names and Registered Business Names that include a number of famous trademarks owned by third parties lead this Panel to infer that they do not intend to use their domain name portfolio for legitimate purposes.
Some of the other domains registered have caught people’s attention in the past year:
What is interesting about the case is that only one WIPO decision has been made so far and possibly by one of the smaller companies affected.
Does this mean that there are others still being processed or are the trademark holders disinterested in protecting their IP in the IE namespace?