July 05, 2005

Confirmation: there is nothing wrong with dealing for profit in domain names that have “many possible end users”

A domain name broker owns in its portfolio the name alsa.com. A Spanish company, Automóviles de Luarca, S.A., has rights on the ALSA mark.
Was the domain name owner of bad faith? No according to the panels int the
WIPO Decision D2005-0282: "the Complainant has failed to show that the Respondent knew of the Complainant’s existence when it registered the disputed domain name. The disputed domain name is a combination of four letters that might be – and apparently is – used by many organizations in many countries. Although the Respondent might be one of the best-known companies in Spain, that does not prove that the Respondent in Scotland knew or should be deemed to have known of the Complainant and its ALSA mark."
Can it be "argued that by registering this simple four-letter combination for (as the Respondent admits) the very reason that many “possible end users” use that combination as an acronym for business and other activities, the Respondent has violated the rights of all of the entities that have cognizable interests in the ALSA mark"? On this question, the Panel did not wish to take position.

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