Expletive Renders UDRP Complaint Void

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Calvin Klein are a well known fashion company. The “CK” and Calvin Klein logos are well known.

So you’d almost expect a domain dispute involving a domain name with the term “Calvin Klein” in it to be a “slam dunk”.

However UDRPs and other domain disputes are not quite that predictable as they rely on several factors:

  • the rules
  • trademark law
  • precedent
  • the panelist(s)

A recent decision involved the domain name: fuckcalvinklein.com

Yes, that’s “f**k Calvin Klein”

You can read the full decision here, but the key bit is the actual decision which states (emphasis added):

Respondent asserts that the <fuckcalvinklein.com> domain name is not confusingly similar to Complainant’s CALVIN KLEIN mark because the message conveyed by the vulgarity “fuck” in the disputed domain name makes it clear that there is no association with Complainant.

The panelists also made reference to previous “sucks” related decisions:

(finding that the addition of the term “sucks” to the complainant’s KB HOME mark in the <kbhomesucks.com> domain name did not make the domain name confusingly similar to the mark because a reasonable person would not conclude that a person who registers a domain name containing the term “sucks” has any relation to the owner of the mark); see also Lockheed Martin Corp. v. Parisi, D2000-1015 (WIPO Jan. 26, 2001) (finding that common sense and a reading of the plain language of the Policy support the view that a domain name combining a trademark with the word “sucks” or other language clearly indicates that the domain name is not affiliated with the trademark owner and, therefore, <lockheedmartinsucks.com> and <lockheedsucks.com> cannot be considered confusingly similar to LOCKHEED MARTIN).

Of course I wouldn’t recommend testing out this .. just because a couple of panelists have viewed the addition of “sucks” to a domain name as being acceptable does not mean that all panelists would agree.

And of course in this case would a “normal” internet user confuse the domain name with an official site run by Calvin Klein? Adding a nice big expletive to the domain name appears to solve that:

..because the term “fuck” provides an indication that Respondent is not affiliated with Complainant and the Internet user entering the domain name could not possibly expect Complainant to be, or desire to be, affiliated with such a domain name

So what will happen when we see new extensions like .wtf and .sucks being rolled out? Will panelists still rely solely on the part of the domain to the left of the dot or will see them taking into consideration both sides of the dot?

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