Mattel, Inc. instituted an action against an individual named Gopi Mattel, claiming he did not have rights and legitimate interests in the mattel.org domain name. Respondent contended that he had rights and legitimate interests in the disputed domain name because "Mattel" had been his surname since he became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1996-five years prior to his registration of the disputed domain name. Respondent also urged the Panel to make a finding of reverse domain name hijacking. The Panel found that Respondent demonstrated rights and legitimate interests in the disputed domain name when Respondent legally changed his last name from Muthyal to Mattel five years prior to registering the mattel.org domain name. In response to Complainant's arguments, the Panel stated, "it is not for Complainant to deem what is a 'proper' surname simply because it owns a trademark on the same name in conjunction with the sale of certain wares." The Panel denied Respondent's reverse domain name hijacking claim.
Mattel, Inc. v. Mattel, FA 372847 (Nat. Arb. Forum Feb. 15, 2005)