Wednesday, September 30, 2009

ARMOURGAMES.COM Domain Name Dispute Dismissed

In an ICANN WIPO UDRP decision released today, the Complaint brought against the registrant (represented by me) of ARMOURGAMES.COM was dismissed by UDRP Panelist Alistair Payne. The Panelist found, inter alia, that the domain name registrant had a legitimate interest in the domain name because he registered it after conceiving of the domain name, and before the Complainant had used the American spelling, i.e. without the "u", even though the Complainant had registered its domain name a week earlier. The Panelist found that since the Respondent registered the domain name before the Complainant had acquired any trademark rights in its mark/domain name, the Respondent could not have registered the domain name in bad faith:

There is no evidence that the Complainant had made any substantive use of its domain name or of a corresponding trade mark by this stage. At best the Complainant’s first use date is one week prior to the Respondent’s registration of the Disputed Domain Name, but in all likelihood according to the Wayback machine evidence submitted by the Respondent, the Complainant started actively using its domain name or any corresponding trade mark after this time. Certainly the Complainant had no registered trade mark rights at this time and it seems extremely unlikely on the evidence presented that it had any common law rights either.

This case demonstrates how a Panelist properly interepred the ICANN UDRP as it was intended; narrowly, i.e. it is not intended as a broad trademark enforcement mechanism, but merely to catch so-called "cybersquatters".

A copy of the decision is available here.

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