Parking Spa and legendary domainer igal won a three person WIPO panel decision today on the domain names Thea.com & Thea.net.
The decision is a good one for domainers since the Complainant is a big corporation with trademark on the term Thea, and the domains were going to a parked page advertising adult dating sites.
The panel the parked pages to be “a bona fide offering of goods or services”.
Here are the highlights of the decisions:
“The Complainant is the owner of a registered trademark in France for THEA, as well as other trademarks incorporating the word “thea”.
“The disputed domain names reproduce the Complainant’s trademark for THEA in its entirety. The Panel therefore finds that the disputed domain names are confusingly similar to a registered trademark in which the Complainant has rights.”
“Accordingly, the first element has been met.”
“the Panel finds that the Complainant has failed to establish that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.”
“The Complainant submitted that because the Respondent registered the disputed domain names with the intention of creating a parking page with pay-per-click links that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain names.”
“The Panel disagrees.”
“Pay-per-click landing pages hosted at a domain name can be a legitimate use of a domain name if the domain name was registered due to its attraction as common or generic word”
“The Panel accepts the Respondent’s explanation as to the reason behind the choice of the domain names as being entirely plausible when used in conjunction with an adult dating site.”
“There is no evidence that the Respondent is targeting the Complainant’s customers in anyway.”
“The websites resolving from the disputed domain names do not refer to the Complainant, its competitors or offer similar goods or services to the Complainant.”
“It is quite plausible to believe that “Thea” is an appropriate name for a dating website, and in this case the Respondent’s websites are websites advertising third party dating services. ”
“The links on the websites at the disputed domain names support the Respondent’s submissions that the domain names were registered due to their descriptive value.:
“The disputed domain names were registered over ten years ago.”
“The Complainant did not present evidence or make any compelling submission that the Respondent knew of the Complainant or the Complainant’s trademarks when the disputed domain names were registered.”
“On the facts of this case, the Panel finds that use by the Respondent of the disputed domain names amounts to a bona fide offering of goods or services.”