A UDRP panel just award the typo domain name VictoriaBeckam.com to the former Spice Girl and the wife of David Beckham whose website is Victoriabeckham.com
The domain was first registered in 2004 so its been kicking around for quite a while making someone presumable some PPC money over the years
Here is the highlights:
“The Complainant is Victoria Beckham, a former Spice Girl and currently a fashion designer and businesswoman. The Complainant’s eponymous label was launched in 2008, and a diffusion label (Victoria by Victoria Beckham) was launched in 2011. The Complainant is and has been known as a style icon for many years prior to the launch of her label. The Complainant’s label has been named designer brand of the year and the Complainant has been named entrepreneur of the year in the United Kingdom. The Complainant is also the International Goodwill Ambassador for the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS.
The Complainant owns the following registered trade marks for VICTORIA BECKHAM:
– Community Trade Mark number 2543320, registered January 22, 2007; and
– Community Trade Mark number 10935211, registered December 11, 2012,
(collectively, the “Trade Mark”). These registrations cover a number of different classes.
The Complainant also claims common law rights in the Trade Mark.
The website at the Disputed Domain Name features pay-per-click (“PPC”) links relating to fashion and clothing. Some of these links refer specifically to the Complainant (but with her surname misspelled). There is a banner in the top right corner of the webpage which says “Buy this Domain”, and which redirects to an Afternic page containing contact details in relation to the sale of the Disputed Domain Name.
The Respondent’s use of the Disputed Domain Name for PPC advertising cannot be construed as a legitimate noncommercial or fair use.
Given the Complainant’s fame, there is no conceivable use for the Disputed Domain Name that could confer any legitimate interest on the Respondent.
Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to its website by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Trade Mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement of its website (paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy).
The Disputed Domain Name is a typographical variation of the Trade Mark. The Complainant cannot conceive of any circumstances under which the redirection of the Disputed Domain Name to PPC advertising for competing services could not be considered bad faith registration and use under the Policy. The PPC advertisements direct Internet users to third party clothing retailers and designers, and to other competitors of the Complainant.
The Respondent intended to target the value in the Trade Mark and financially benefit through the display of PPC advertising relating directly to the Complainant and her activities. Such use is likely to cause confusion among Internet users searching for the Complainant, and may cause them to be redirected to third parties and competitors of the Complainant.
Finally, the Disputed Domain Name is listed for sale, which suggests that the Respondent registered the Disputed Domain Name primarily for the purpose of selling to the Complainant for valuable consideration in excess of its out-of-pocket costs (paragraph 4(b)(i) of the Policy).
The Trade Mark was first registered on January 22, 2007. However, the Complainant is also claiming common law rights in the Trade Mark, with a date of first use on July 4, 1999.
In order to successfully assert common law or unregistered trade mark rights, the Complainant must show that the Trade Mark has become a distinctive identifier associated with the Complainant or the Complainant’s goods or services (i.e., that the Trade Mark has acquired a “secondary meaning”). It is well established that famous people using their name in trade and commerce can have a common law trade mark in their public name for the purposes of the Policy.
The Complainant was married to David Beckham (who was, at the time, a high profile professional football player) on July 4, 1999. Given that the Complainant was a member of the Spice Girls at that time, this was a highly publicized marriage. The Complainant continued to be a member of the Spice Girls, and was known by her married name. Although the Spice Girls split up not long after the Complainant was married, the Complainant continued in the public eye. She pursued a solo music career for a short time in the early 2000s, and appeared on television. More recently, the Complainant has gained a reputation in fashion, and owns an eponymous fashion label.
The Complainant has used the Trade Mark extensively in trade and commerce since July 4, 1999. The Panel is satisfied that the Complainant has held common law rights in the Trade Mark since that date.
In 2004, when the Respondent registered the Disputed Domain Name, the Complainant had already been in the public eye for around ten years, and was a globally recognised celebrity. The Complainant had been known by her married name, which corresponds with the Trade Mark, for half of that time. Previous UDRP panels have found that where the reputation of a complainant in a given mark is significant and the mark has strong similarities to the disputed domain name, the likelihood of confusion is such that bad faith may be inferred
Given that the Disputed Domain Name is a misspelling of the Trade Mark, and that the PPC advertising links on the website at the Disputed Domain Name direct Internet users to various websites through which they can purchase the Complainant’s products, the Panel finds it inconceivable that the Respondent was not aware of the Trade Mark at the time the Disputed Domain Name was registered.
Previous UDRP panels have found that if a respondent has engaged in typosquatting, that is sufficient to establish registration and use in bad faith (Barnes & Noble College Bookstores, Inc. v. Oleg Techino, WIPO Case No. D2006-1537; Edmunds.com, Inc. v. Yingkun Guo, dba This domain is 4 sale, WIPO Case No. D2006-0694; Sephora v. WhoisGuard, WIPO Case No. D2006-0845). As previously mentioned, this is a clear case of typosquatting, where the Respondent has registered the Disputed Domain Name which is identical to the Trade Mark save for one omitted letter. The Respondent clearly intended to divert traffic from the Complainant’s website to the Respondent’s website. The Panel finds that this constitutes bad faith registration and use under paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy.
In light of the above, and in the absence of a Response and any evidence rebutting bad faith registration and use, the Panel finds that the Complainant has succeeded on the third element of the Policy.
For the foregoing reasons, in accordance with paragraphs 4(i) of the Policy and 15 of the Rules, the Panel orders that the Disputed Domain Name