A One Person UDRP Panel Comes To A Spilt Decision On 106 Domains Brought By Match.com

Match.com just won a UDRP on 104 of 106 domain names owned by one party,  by a “split decision”.

A split decision might be easy to understand if it was a three member panel, but in this case it wasn’t.

A one member panel came to a split decision by giving 104 of the 106 domain name sort under the UDRP to the trademark holder, strangely finding that two of the domains could mean something else other than being a typo of Chemistry.com or Match.com both owned by IAC.

The complaint was brought by CitizenHawk on behalf of Match.com

Here are the domains at issue;

cbemistry.com
cbhemistry.com
cdhemistry.com

cfhemistry.com
ch3emistry.com
ch3mistry.com
ch4emistry.com
ch4mistry.com
chbemistry.com
chdemistry.com
che3mistry.com
che4mistry.com
chedmistry.com
chefmistry.com
chejmistry.com
chekmistry.com
chem8istry.com
chem8stry.com
chem9istry.com
chem9stry.com
chemi8stry.com
chemi9stry.com
chemiastry.com
chemidstry.com
chemiestry.com
chemietry.com
chemijstry.com
chemikstry.com
chemilstry.com
chemis5ry.com
chemis5try.com
chemis6ry.com
chemis6try.com
chemisatry.com
chemisdtry.com
chemisetry.com
chemisftry.com
chemisgtry.com
chemishry.com
chemishtry.com
chemist4ry.com
chemist4y.com
chemist5ry.com
chemist5y.com
chemist6ry.com
chemistdry.com
chemistfry.com
chemistgry.com
chemistgy.com
chemisthry.com
chemistr4y.com
chemistr5y.com
chemistr6.com
chemistr6y.com
chemistr7.com
chemistr7y.com
chemistrdy.com
chemistrfy.com
chemistrgy.com
chemistrhy.com
chemistrj.com
chemistrjy.com
chemistruy.com
chemistry6.com
chemistry7.com
chemistryg.com
chemistryh.com
chemistryj.com
chemistryt.com
chemiswtry.com
chemisxtry.com
chemisyry.com
chemisztry.com
chemiustry.com
chemiwstry.com
chemixstry.com
chemizstry.com
chemjistry.com
chemkistry.com
chemlistry.com
chemlstry.com
chemuistry.com
chesmistry.com
chewmistry.com
chfemistry.com
chfmistry.com
chgemistry.com
chjemistry.com
chnemistry.com
chsemistry.com
chsmistry.com
chuemistry.com
chwemistry.com
chyemistry.com
cjhemistry.com
cnemistry.com
cnhemistry.com
cuhemistry.com
cxhemistry.com
cyemistry.com
cyhemistry.com
dchemistry.com
fchemistry.com
fhemistry.com
hcemistry.com
matdch.com
Here are the relevant facts and findings:
“Complainant, an American company, has operated an online dating service for more than a decade.  It has registered with the USPTO the service marks MATCH.COM (e.g., Reg. No. 2,088,545 issued August 19, 1997) and CHEMISTRY.COM (e.g., Reg. No. 3,581,714 issued February 24, 2009).”

 “As Complainant has furnished the Panel with pertinent evidence (Annex E) of Complainant’s USPTO registrations for the marks MATCH.COM and CHEMISTRY.COM, the Panel concludes that Complainant has rights in those marks sufficient to satisfy Policy paragraph 4(a)(i). ”

 “A thorough inspection of all 106 disputed domain names reveals to the Panel that none are identical to either of Complainant’s two service marks (CHEMISTRY.COM and MATCH.COM). “
“As contended by Complainant, all of the names vary from the marks by the inclusion, subtraction or substitution of a single character, or the rearranging of characters.  “
“Such minimal alteration has been commonly referred to in prior UDRP cases as typosquatting, whereby respondents have hoped to capitalize on Internet user typing errors to gain traffic from users looking for connections to trademarked goods or services.  The consensus opinion of those prior cases is that such minor differences do not avoid a finding of confusing similarity between the names in dispute and the corresponding mark. 
The only disputed domain name that resembles Complainant’s MATCH.COM mark is, <matdch.com>, and the Panel finds no difficulty in concluding that the two are confusingly similar.  “
“The additional “d” does little to distinguish that domain name from the MATCH.COM mark in appearance or pronunciation.  Applying the same analysis, the Panel has little difficulty in finding that almost all of the remaining disputed domain names are confusingly similar to Complainant’s CHEMISTRY.COM mark.

“However, in its analysis of the such similarity, the Panel has sought to avoid the temptation, brought on by the sheer volume of disputed domain names in this case, to lump all of the those names into a typosquatting continuum that yields the same conclusion. ”

“The Panel has attempted to view each disputed domain name in isolation, as if the others did not exist to bias the Panel toward the notion that all would be confusing to a reasonable internet user.  The Panel does this noting also that Complainant’s mark is made up of a common word, “chemistry,” as opposed to a fanciful or distinctive term, which would more likely be confused with a domain name bearing a slight alteration.”

“As a result, two of the disputed domain names, <chefmistry.com> and <chewmistry.com>, stand out to the Panel. ”

“Because each of those disputed domain names can be viewed as two terms, the first of which are the common English language words, “chef” and “chew”, respectively, it is unclear to the Panel that consumers would confuse those names with the word, “chemistry” or the mark, CHEMISTRY.COM.”

Moreover, the Panel is mindful that Complainant shoulders the burden of proof with respect to this issue, as it does with respect to all elements considered under the Policy. 

“For these reasons, the Panel does not find the two aforesaid disputed domain names to be confusingly similar to Complainant’s mark.”

“Accordingly, the Panel finds that Complainant has proven that the disputed domain names, excepting <chefmistry.com> and <chewmistry.com>, are identical or confusingly similar to either of two service marks (CHEMISTRY.COM or MATCH.COM) in which Complainant has rights.”

Comments

  1. L says

    Dennis Foster is apparently a thorough and deliberate person. It would’ve definitely gone totally unnoticed if he had simply awarded all of them on the basis of typosquatting, but he took the time to address some pretty delicate nuance.

    Contrast this against the mindless C&P decisions that received zero deliberation, this stands as a pretty good example of the sorts of people NAF should be hiring.

  2. HELP.org says

    You missed some good parts:

    “Complainant’s representative is a criminal organization that attempts unfairly to help companies take domain names from rightful registrants. As a disabled combat veteran, Respondent is simply trying to make the Internet a better place.”

    “Respondent has abused Complainant’s affiliate program in bad faith by registering and profiting from the disputed domain names.”

    “The names route Internet traffic to Complainant’s website in connection with Complainant’s affiliate program, with which Respondent is in full compliance.”

    “Respondent is acting in good faith in sending Internet visitors to Complainant’s websites, and it is Complainant’s representative that is perpetuating an attempt to engage in reverse domain name hijacking.”

    So it looks like this a is really a contractual dispute and Match.com says they are breaching the contract so it should be outside the scope of the UDRP.

    Of course the whole thing is a waste of time as:

    “Respondent owns only three of the disputed domain names now, as he let the registration of the others expire on June 9, 2012.”

  3. Grim says

    Going to the expense and trouble of doing this many typos, is just plain funny.

    Oddly enough though, of the two he go to keep, I’m always typing in “Chefmistry.com” when trying to get to “Chgemistry.com”… I mean “Chemistry.com!”

    Damn my first-grade-level spelling abilities. Maybe he was on to something, after all.

    ;)

  4. says

    This is sad how we have allowed corporates to own our world!
    Chemistry is a generic word NOT a brand!!!!

    Why do you people subscribe to this and allow it?

    Next is .search, .book, etc. etc.

    Don’t complain when you feel they have taken everything…

  5. Domainer Extraordinaire says

    Yeah, Match.com won the right to pay renewals on crappy domain names every year. Good news for the registrar and Verisign because most of these would have been dropping.

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