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Recent Case Notes & Commentary

No Bad Faith if Complainant not in Existence at Time of Registering Domain Name

LiveOne Group, Ltd. v. Kim KwangPyo / MediaBlue Inc. NAF Claim Number: FA1210001467218.

One of the issues in this recent case was: if the Complainant’s business had not started when the domain name was registered, can the Respondent have registered the domain name in bad faith?

Answer: generally no, because the general rule is that there is no bad faith if the domain name was registered before the Complainant began to use its trademark.

The Panel[1] endorsed that view. It said:

“There generally can be no bad faith when a respondent registers the disputed domain name before a complainant began using the mark. See Aspen Grove, Inc. v. Aspen Grove, D2001-0798 (WIPO Oct. 5, 2001) (finding that it is “impossible” for the respondent to register disputed domain name in bad faith if the complainant company did not exist at the time of registration); see also Open Sys. Computing AS v. degli Alessandri, D2000-1393 (WIPO Dec. 11, 2000) (finding no bad faith where the respondent registered the domain name in question before application and commencement of use of the trademark by the complainant). The Panel finds this to be sufficient. Respondent did not register or use the <> disputed domain name in bad faith pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(a)(iii).”


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