Recent Case Notes & Commentary

Distributor Agreement Authorises Use of Domain Name

Dead Sea Premier Cosmetics Laboratories Ltd. v. Maysan Jeuness GmbH / Gal Yana.


Many domain name cases revolve around misspellings, attempts to trade on the good name of a company or an individual, or unfortunate attempts to confuse consumers into buying competing or even counterfeit goods. Then there are the cases where there is an attempt to stop a registrant of a domain name from using a common or generic word, perhaps the name of a celebrity or a legitimate fan or criticism site. But then there are also cases that are genuine and mainstream commercial disputes where each of the parties might have a plausible claim to the name. Particularly in those cases, it is wise to make sure you have a good and solid grounding before filing the Complaint. A recent illustration of this is Dead Sea Premier Cosmetics Laboratories Ltd. v. Maysan Jeuness GmbH / Gal Yana, WIPO Case No. D2013-2114 where the trade mark at issue was PREMIER BY DEAD SEA PREMIER and the domain name was . In that case the claim was made that the facts of the case brought it within the UDRP elements and at that stage the case must have looked like a regular UDRP proceeding without any novel features.


However, things changed when the Respondent claimed that there was a contractual distributor relationship between the parties, that the domain name had been registered pursuant to that relationship and that the Respondent was authorised to use the domain name. The Complainant’s response was to concede the existence of the contractual relationship and to ask for leave to terminate the proceedings or alternatively to file a supplementary submission, requests that were refused for reasons dealt with in another case note here on Domain Times. In a short decision, the panel decided that as a consequence, there was no evidence that the Respondent lacked a right or legitimate interest in the domain name and had registered and used the domain name in bad faith. The Complainant by this stage had a case that looked so unpersuasive that the decision to dismiss it was really unavoidable. Again, it must be said that the most important feature of any domain name case is the evidence and that the evidence must be marshalled and assessed before the Complaint is filed to ensure the case will stand up if the proceedings are defended.