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Registering Trademark Without First Obtaining Corresponding Domain Name

Complainant who registers a  trademarks without first obtaining corresponding domain name has no actionable claim against respondent already holding that domain name, at least under the UDRP as traditionally applied. What is meant by “traditional” is that complainant has to prove bad faith in the conjunctive. Yet, despite this obvious truth that trademark rights have […]

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Evidentiary Demands in a UDRP Proceeding

To succeed in a UDRP case parties must pay attentiion to the evidentiary demands of the process. Complaints are dismissed or denied for three reasons, either complainant 1) lacks priority for its trademark over the domain name; 2) failed to marshal evidence sufficient to prove abusive registration, or 3) respondent has rebutted complainant’s allegations that […]

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Opportunistic Registrations of Domain Names

This article, “Opportunist Registrations of Domain Names: What Is Going On, and What Tools Are Available for Trademark Owners,” appears in Bright Ideas, a publication of the Intellectual Property Law Section of the New York State Bar Association, Fall 2014, Vol. 23, No. 2. Bright Ideas Gml Article I. Introduction In June, 2011, the Board […]

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Abuse of Process in a UDRP Proceeding

Abuse of process in a UDRP proceeding carries risk for reverse domain name hijacking if respondent appears and proves complainant has falsified the facts. There have undoubtedly been cases in which complainant prevails solely because respondent has defaulted — let us call it the “no show” strategum — where a defense may have changed the […]

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Non-Authorized Use of Trademark

Non-authorized use of trademark is not prohibited as long as the use is fair, but “fair” is narrowly defined under UDRP/URS jurisprudence although it could be for a commercial purpose. So, for example, it is not improper to incorporate a trademark where the domain name “seek[s] to communicate the nature of the service or product […]

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Laches Defense to Cybersquatting Claim

Lapse of time versus a laches defense to cybersquatting claim in a udrp case is likely to benefit domain name holder unless the trademark is well-known or famous. While Panels are in accord that waiting too long to initiate a complaint makes it difficult to prove bad faith registration they are split on whether laches […]

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Dismissal of UDRP Complaint

Ordinarily, complaints are dismissed for two reasons (or the same reason but expressed in two different ways): either the complainant fails to prove respondent registered the domain name in bad faith (although respondent has no right or legitimate interest in it); or respondent rebuts bad faith registration even though it may be using the domain […]

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“Genuine” Criticism as Defense to Abusive Registration

Paragraph 4(c)(iii) of the Policy recognizes the free speech defense but this is one of the blurry areas of domain name jurisprudence. The WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Second Edition describes two views on criticism. View 1 states that “The right to criticize does not necessarily extend to registering and […]

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Different Mind-Sets In Inferring Bad Faith Registration from Bad Faith Use

Of the four enumerated circumstances of bad faith in paragraph 4(b) the first three describe bad faith registration while the fourth (4(b)(iv)) describes bad faith use. A respondent may lack rights or legitimate interests in the domain name (4(a)(ii)) but if the evidence is insufficient to support an inference of bad faith registration there is […]

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Standards of Proof, URS and UDRP

In the hierarchy of standards “beyond a reasonable doubt” (criminal intent) is higher than “clear and convincing” (URS) which is higher than “preponderance of the evidence” (UDRP). The UDRP sets forth in general terms conduct that violates a trademark owner’s rights and respondent’s defenses of fair use and registration but to understand the fine points […]

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