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;
“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). ”
“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.”