WowWe, Inc. of The Woodlands, Texas, just lost a UDRP decision on the domain name wowwe.com
Here are the relevant findings form the one member panel:
“Complainant WowWe, Inc. owns U.S. Trademark Registration No. 4057342 for the mark WOWWE, as used in connection with the “provisioning of video conference services, electronic mail services, and video messaging services”. The registration issued on November 15, 2011, based on an application that was filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office on August 23, 2010.
Wowwe.com, was registered on August 24, 1999.
Respondent indicates that as soon as he received the Complaint in this matter, he received two emails from Complainant’s counsel in which they apparently offered Respondent USD 4,500 to USD 7,000 “to defend me from such frivolous complaints”.
Respondent asserts that he has “never solicited anyone or any corporation trying to sell them any domain name that is why in the 14 years since owning domain names no one has pursued me to claim that I have stolen their name or that I have tried to solicit monies from them to return their name”.
“”The Panel concludes that the evidence does not support a determination that the disputed domain name was registered in bad faith. ”
“The evidence clearly indicates that the disputed domain name was registered by Respondent more than 12 years before Complainant was issued its U.S. registration for the WOWWE mark. ”
“The evidence further establishes that Complainant did not use the WOWWE mark until September 2011, which is also more than 12 years after registration of the disputed domain name. ”
“Thus, Complainant’s registration and common law trademark rights long postdate the registration of the <wowwe.com> domain name.”
“Moreover, contrary to Complainant’s assertion, the evidence does not establish that Respondent registered the disputed domain name in order to sell it to Complainant. The evidence on this issue establishes that Complainant’s counsel first approached Respondent with offers to purchase the disputed domain name. Under the facts of this case, Respondent was perfectly within its rights in refusing to accept such offers.”