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WIPO published 4 UDRP rejections today

WIPO published an unusually high number of denied cases today.

Blue image with the letters UDRP

World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) publishes a handful of UDRP decisions every business day. On many days, all of the cases are found in favor of the Complainant. This makes sense because most cases are clear-cut cases of cybersquatting that the policy was designed to tackle.

But today, WIPO published four cases that the Complainants lost. It’s unusual to see so many rejections in one day, and some of them are interesting. Here’s a recap of the rejections published today:

Furukawa Electric Latam S.A. – 

The Complainant registered in 2008 and filed its earliest trademark for sohoplus in 2017. The domain registrant registered it in 2005, so there was no bad faith registration. Even though the domain owner didn’t respond to the dispute, panelist Andrew Park rejected the claim due to the registration date.

Stephen Uther, Director Shalex Industries Pty Ltd and Trustee of the SKU Family Trust –

This is another case in which panelist Andrew Park found against the Complainant on bad faith due to dates. The Complainant’s first trademark was registered in 2017 and the domain owner registered the domain in 2011. It appears the Complainant has been in business for almost 50 years, so it might have been able to show common law rights predating the domain registration. However, Park described its filing as a “very barebones Complaint (a few mere sentences under each element),” so there wasn’t enough to persuade him.

M31 Management Limited –

The Complainant owns the domain and is in China, while the Respondent is in the U.S. Both the Complainant and the Respondent are financial companies. The majority of the panel denied the case. Presiding panelist Reyes Campello Estebaranz found that this is more of a trademark dispute and outside the scope of the policy. Panelist Gary Nelson found in the Respondents favor on Rights or Legitimate Interests and Registration and Use in Bad Faith. Panelist Hong Xue found in favor of the Chinese company but was out ruled 2-1.

Florida Power & Light Company –

The Complainant is an electric utility in Florida. The domain is used by a group called Conservatives for Responsible Stewardship to criticize the Complainant. Panelist W. Scott Blackmer determined that this is a fair use criticism site and denied the complaint.

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Author: Andrew Allemann

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