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Date of First Use in Commerce in Application for Trademark Not Evidence

As a general rule, there can be no bad faith registration of a domain name registered prior to the existence of a trademark. For a complainant to prevail on the first requirement that it has a trademark right, the date of first use in commerce disclosed in the application must pre-date the registration of the […]

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Combinations of Random Letters (Acronyms, Initials and Abbreviations) Capable of Use By Many Third Parties Other Than Complainant

Combinations of letters are either acronyms or abbreviations for a company’s name – protectable or not against domain name registrants depending on the trademark’s strength – or simply a string of random letters (“random” that is to respondents) that are capable of use (when acronymic) by many third parties other than complainant trademark holders. Panels […]

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Multiple Users of Term Other than Trademark Owner

There have been a number of recent UDRP cases in which complainants’ trademarks are composed of letters or words that have currency for other users in the marketplace. Two, three and four letter strings, for example, are valuable names that could also be acronyms. Examples: <> and <>. The Panel in Rocky Mountain Health Maintenance […]

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Parties in Same Business and Operating in the Same Geographical Area

Distance is not only geographical and temporal but also measured by product or service offerings. The principle underlying temporal distance is that the respondent could not have registered the domain name in bad faith if the trademark had not then come into existence. Subsequent bad faith use (except in the view of panelists who argue […]

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Trademark Terms Distinctive in One Territorial Jurisdiction, Undistinctive in Another

Distinctiveness (despite the affirmativeness of the word) is a fluid concept. It could mean “distinctive” in its class but not “distinctive enough” to prevent others from using it for their own purposes in a different class. So, too, a term accepted by a trademark office can be regarded as distinctive within its jurisdiction, but un-distinctive […]

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