Domain names have irreplaceable value for trademark holders. Abusive practices like cybersquatting and typosquatting can lead to disputes
Minneapolis (PRWEB) September 13, 2007
http://www.domains.adrforum.com -- The National Arbitration Forum recently issued decisions on the rights to Univision.tv, Webkinzz.com, Webkniz.com, Weblinz.com and ChocolateKiss.com.
"Domain names have irreplaceable value for trademark holders. Abusive practices like cybersquatting and typosquatting can lead to disputes," said Kristine Dorrain, Internet Legal Counsel. "The National Arbitration Forum domain name dispute resolution program boasts a legal process that is quick, inexpensive, neutral and expert."
The following three decisions were made in accordance with the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) by independent and neutral arbitrators on the National Arbitration Forum's panel.
On June 7, 2007, Univision Communications Inc., the premier Spanish-language media company in the United States, submitted a complaint electronically with the National Arbitration Forum asserting legal rights to the domain name Univision.tv. The Complainant requested the dispute be decided by a three-member panel.
The Panel concluded that the domain name is identical to the registered trademark UNIVISION with the addition of the .tv extension. Respondent and registered owner Edmundo Norte could not support his claim of an intent for future use as a parody site and did not demonstrate rights to or legitimate interests in Univision.tv. The Panel found that the Respondent offered to sell the domain name for an amount in excess of reasonable development expenses which supports findings of bad faith registration and use. The Complainant successfully established all three elements required under the ICANN Policy and defended its trademark in domain name dispute resolution. On August 16, 2007, Univision.tv was ordered to be transferred to Univision Communications Inc.
Ganz, owner of Webkinz a popular line of real and virtual stuffed animals, submitted a complaint electronically on May 21, 2007. The National Arbitration Forum panelist found that the domain names Webkinzz.com, Webkniz.com, and Weblinz.com were registered by renowned cybersquatter Texas International Property Associates.
The panelist found that the three disputed domain names are confusingly similar to the WEBKINZ mark all with slight typographical variations. The panelist went on to find that erroneous variations of Complainant's WEBKINZ mark are typical of typosquatting -- using a website to profit from the mistyping of someone else's trademark -- and prove the Respondent's lack of rights and legitimate interests. Because the Respondent used the websites to generate revenue through pay-per-click advertisements it was found that the domain names were registered and used in bad faith. Ganz proved all three elements required of the ICANN Policy and was granted the rights to Webkinzz.com, Webkniz.com, and Weblinz.com on July 19, 2007.
The Hershey Company, one of the largest chocolate production facilities in the world, filed a claim electronically on April 20, 2007 against Respondent R. Reaves. Complainant, the Hershey Company, requested that the dispute over ChocolateKiss.com be handled by a panel of three National Arbitration Forum arbitrators.
The Panel found that ChocolateKiss.com was confusingly similar to Complainant's KISSES mark, as the term "chocolate" was simply descriptive of Complainant's business and the combination of the terms was calculated to suggest the involvement of Complainant. The Panel also found that Respondent lacked rights or legitimate interests because the content displayed on Respondent's website gave the erroneous impression that it was affiliated with Complainant. Finally, the Panel found that Respondent registered and was using the domain name in bad faith because Respondent was using this implied affiliation with Complainant to attract users to its website for commercial gain. Accordingly, the Panel granted Complainant's request for a transfer of the domain name on June 8, 2007.
To file a claim, see http://www.domains.adrforum.com. Questions regarding domain name dispute resolution or e-commerce arbitration may be directed to domaindispute @ adrforum.com. Journalist inquiries may be directed to media @ adrforum.com.
About the National Arbitration Forum (FORUM)
The National Arbitration Forum (FORUM), a leader in arbitration and mediation services for over 20 years, is an expert in the resolution of Internet-based disputes. An innovator in the industry, the National Arbitration Forum serves as one of three primary providers of the ICANN domain name dispute resolution program, resolving issues involving disputed trademarks. Over 8,000 intellectual property cases have been filed through the National Arbitration Forum's state-of-the-art case management system. For more information, visit http://www.domains.adrforum.com.
Fact Sheet http://www.adrforum.com/users/naf/resources/FastFactsDomainNameDisputeResolution.pdf
Searchable Case Database http://domains.adrforum.com/decision.aspx
Univision Communications Inc. v. Edmundo Norte http://domains.adrforum.com/domains/decisions/1000079.htm
Ganz v. Texas International Property Associates http://domains.adrforum.com/domains/decisions/991778.htm
The Hershey Company v. R. Reaves http://domains.adrforum.com/domains/decisions/967818.htm
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