Thursday, January 15, 2015

Cigarette Company Wins DJ Domain Name at UDRP

By Zak Muscovitch.

The domain name, DJBLACKNMILD.COM was ordered transferred to cigarette company, John Middleton Co. by an NAF Panel in a decision dated, January 7, 2015.

The Respondent, was "j alvarez" from Alabama, USA. What caught my attention here, is the oddity of someone purportedly cybersquatting on a cigarette brand by supposedly adding "DJ" to it.

The Complaint was undefended and the Panelist noted that the Complainant had registered trademark rights for BLACK & MILD, including USPTO registration number 1,177,552, registered November 10, 1981.

The Complainant thereby met the identical/confusingly similar part of the three-part UDRP test, since the domain name merely added "DJ" to the Complainant's mark.

Secondly, the Complainant also succeeded under the 'Legitimate Interest' part of the test, since there was no evidence that the Respondent was 'known as DJBLACKNMILD' and the domain name was merely used for general advertising links.

Thirdly, the Complainant succeeded under 'bad faith registration and use' of the domain name, due to its 'non-use'.

 But again, why would somebody add "DJ" to a cigarette brand? Well, I Google searched "DJBLACKNMILD", and I found that there is a Louisiana based DJ called, "DJ BLACK N MILD". He even has his own Facebook page apparently.

So, it could be that this "j alvarez" was cybersquatting, but not on the John Middleton Co. cigarette brand, but rather, on the DJ.

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