In July 2010, it attempted to acquire the disputed domain name africatours.fr. and following an exchange of emails, the Respondent offered to sell the Complainant the domain for $ 5000 Euros. The complainant appearently then offered 2,000 euros for the domain name which the domain holder rejected and the complainant then filed this action.
“The Complainant says that it has intellectual property rights in the disputed domain name since it holds the French semi-figurative mark Africatours No. 174 95 69, filed August 9, 1989 in classes 39 and 42.”
“The Complainant also considers that the domain name was registered in bad faith by the Respondent in order to resell at an inflated price, as evidenced by electronic mail exchange he had with him.”
“Defendant denies the infringement of the Complainant. It believes that registration of the disputed domain name does not create any likelihood of confusion because the site is not yet exploited and that the Respondent intends to dedicate its website to the achievement of a community-based website on Africa , its human, cultural and geographical. He said he travels extensively in Africa.”
“The complainant holds the domain names africatour.fr, africatour.com, africatours.pro.””
“It is indisputable that the Complainant proves that the rights to the phrase “Africatours” which was set out in the disputed domain name africatours.fr.”
“Registration or use of the disputed domain name in violation of the rights of others or the rules of competition”
The infringement of third parties is recognized when the domain name is identical to a name or could be confused with a name which is given a French intellectual property law.
The Complainant proves that he has an intellectual property right on the semi-figurative French Africatours.”
“That the disputed domain name is identical to the verbal element of the trademark. This identity leads necessarily a likelihood of confusion in the minds of average users attention.”
“The use of the disputed domain name infringes the rights of the Applicant. Indeed, the domain name, consisting of a term identical to the verbal element of the Complainant’s trademark, is likely to be confused with the mark. In addition, the disputed domain name does not refer to the active site and the Respondent attempted to sell his domain name at a price that seems excessive.”
“Finally, the Respondent does not justify any rights on the domain name, or a legitimate interest in using it and did not act in good faith.”
Here is my problems with this decision, first and foremost Africa Tours is generic and should not belong to one company on earth, as hundreds if not thousands of travel agents and travel sites offer “Africa Tours”
Second why is it bad faith for the domain owner to have a discussion of settling a dispute or offering to sell a domain when the other party engages in the same practice and only the amount is at stake.
What I’m saying is as the panel laid out the facts, the parties were negotiating for the sale and purchase of the domain with one party wanting to sell for 5,000 euros and the other party offering to buy for 2,000 euro’s and by virtue of that, one party is deemed to be engaged in bad faith while the other parties conduct was perfectly fine.
Another bad decision in my opinion.