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Recent Case Notes & Commentary

Clock’s Ticking for Tik Tok’s Copy Cats

If imitation is the greatest form of flattery, Tik Tok ought to be blushing.

Tik Tok has been the centre of much attention since its launch outside China in 2017. The video sharing app now ranks #1 in Entertainment in the Apple Store, and has gained political disrepute in both India and the US.

As a result, it was only a matter of time (ahem) until we began to see some domain disputes pop up. And now they seem to have started.

Tik Tok’s parent company, ByteDance Ltd, has recently been involved in UDRP cases including Bytedance Ltd. v. Vu Dinh Dat and Bytedance Ltd. v. Дубинин Алексей Сергеевич / Dubinin Alexey.

So far, these cases have been straightforward ‘passing off’ types - in which the Respondent ( who has registered the domain name) sets up a near-identical website to the Complainant ( the TIK TOK trademark owner), complete with the TIK TOK’s logo and ads.

Of course, the websites are really just attempting to take advantage of Tik Tok’s fame and notoriety to increase their own traffic for commercial gain.

In both of these cases TIK TOK’s parent company has been easily able to prove the three UDRP elements needed to prove a domain name claim - and the Respondents have failed to provide a response. Both domains were transferred, and Tik Tok lives to dance another day.


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