Company admonished by WIPO panel for cybersquatting filing.
A Netherlands company that uses the domain 123inkt.nl to sell ink products has been found guilty of reverse domain name hijacking over the domain 123ink.com. Inkt is Dutch for ink.
Digital Revolution B.V. filed the dispute with World Intellectual Property Organization.
John Berryhill, defending 123Ink.com, noted that “123” is a common prefix for domain names. It also seemed that, while 123inkt.nl might have been in existence before the Respondent acquired 123ink.com, there weren’t proven trademark rights in the term at that time. 123Inkt.nl also focuses on the Netherlands and Belgium for its business, not the United States where the Respondent is based.
In finding reverse domain name hijacking, the three-person panel wrote:
In this case the Complainant’s registered trade mark rights were granted after the Respondent’s acquisition of the disputed domain name. There is no evidence before the Panel that would support a finding that by that date the Complainant had enjoyed such a substantial reputation as a result of the use of its unregistered 123INKT mark or domain name, that the Complainant enjoyed protectable unregistered rights in its mark. As discussed above, there is also nothing to suggest that either before 2009 or since that time, that the reputation attaching to the Complainant’s mark and to the disputed domain name extended beyond the Netherlands or Belgium to the United States where the Respondent is based. As a result, the Panel finds that it was impossible from the outset for the Complainant to show that the Respondent had registered the disputed domain name in bad faith as required under the third element of the Policy.
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Author: Andrew Allemann