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Recent Case Notes & Commentary

The Test of Bad Faith Registration

In fact, it was fatal to the claim, as the Complaint was dismissed. The domain name was <> and had been registered for 14 years. The trademark was CHANNEL GUIDE. The Respondent had registered many domain names like <> and said it intended to use the disputed domain name in its business, but had it linked to a parking page that included links to the Complainant’s competitors.

The Complainant won on every point except one – bad faith registration. The panel found that the domain name was identical to the trademark and that there was no right or legitimate interest in the domain name. Moreover, there was bad faith use. But was there bad faith registration? No, there was not and as both bad faith registration and use have to be proved, the claim failed on this sole point. But the value of the case is that the panel listed some of the criteria a panel will look for to see if they show bad faith registration. The factors the panel pointed out are insufficient evidence to show:

  1. Respondent targeted Complainant and its trademark;

  2. Respondent intended to disrupt Complainant’s business

  3. noting that the mark comprised two common words, there was little evidence of the mark’s reputation or distinctiveness;

  4. Respondent has registered thousands of “channel-related” domain names, negating the suggestion of targeting

  5. USPTO’s on-line searchable trademark database was not available in 1997, when the Domain Name was registered.

In other words, make sure your evidence is all there.


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