Here are some of the recent domain name dispute cases which provide guidance about the trademark risks involved in domaineering.
One of the recent decisions in the .in domain name dispute resolution center, the domain name americaneagle.co.in registered by onne Mr Folk Brook, f, Goa 2588, India through Webiq Domains Solutions Ltd on August 29, 2014 was challenged by Retail Royalty Company, 101, convention center drive, Las Vegas, nevada 89109, USA.
On 13th August 2015, arbitrator Vinod K Agarwal decided on the complaint received on July 22, 2015 and ordered that the domain name should be transferred to the complainant.
The respondent in this case did not participate in the dispute resolution. In fact, the address of the registrant was incorrect and incomplete and there was no email contact available and hence the notice of arbitration could not be served on the respondent and the case was decided on ex-parte basis.
The detailed decision is available here
What can be noted in this case is that the registrant had no legitimate business done under the registered domain name and the name wa put up for sale at SEDO.COM at a price of US $2999.
There was therefore lack of good faith in the registration.
The Complainant on the other hand had a registered trademark in the name of american eagle in USA and several other countries including India. He also has several registered domain names in the name “americaleagle” and the disputed domain name is “Confusingly similar” to the complainant’s trademark and other domain names.
In general, this case was a clear case of trademark infringement and there was only one way the decision could go, that is against the registrant. This is a typical mistake that the domaineering enthusiasts should avoid.
As we can see, the domain name was listed in SEDO.COM at US $ 2999 making some people to believe that could be the value of the domain asset. But in the end it turned out to be of zero value. The registration therefore was a bad registration and bad investment to start with.
Additionally, one should also question the role of the registrar who did not do the basic due diligence of checking if the email address of the registrant and an apparently correct address was not provided.