Orbitz Worldwide, LLC which was represented by CitizenHawk, Inc., just lost a UDRP on the domain name Obotz.com a domain which has been parked for the last five years.
How could a UDRP panel reject the claim of Orbitz you ask well the domain holder registered the domain back in 2001 “with the intention of developing a series of stories about robots called “Orbotz” on a planet in outer space.”
“Respondent claims to have legitimate rights and interests in the Disputed Domain Name based on the intent to use the “Orbotz” name in stories about robots in outer space.
While preparations for use do generate legitimate rights and interests, in the over twelve years since it was registered, the Disputed Domain Name has never been used for this purpose.
Instead, after seven years of inactivity on the “Orbotz” story project, Respondent used a parking service that in turn used the Disputed Domain Name to host hyperlinks to third party websites.
The Disputed Domain Name has been used for this purpose for the past five years.
Using a domain name to offer hyperlink advertisements is not a Policy ¶ 4(c)(i) bona fide offering of goods or services, or a Policy ¶ 4(c)(iii) legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the domain name.
Respondent’s explanation for its intended use of the Domain Name has some plausibility, and accordingly the question is a close one, but on balance, and particularly given the extended period of inactivity on the “Orbotz” project and the usage of a parking service during that time, the Panel finds that Respondent does not have rights or legitimate interests in the Disputed Domain Name.
Respondent registered the Disputed Domain Name on July 23, 2001, less than two months after Complainant’s ORBITZ mark was first used in commerce.
While Complainant’s rights in the mark extend to the date the registration was filed, that does not mean it is reasonable to assume Respondent was aware of the mark when it registered the Disputed Domain Name.
Complainant presents no evidence to suggest that Respondent was aware of the mark at that time.
Nonetheless, Complainant relies on the theory that Respondent is “typosquatting” and alleges a pattern of this behavior by citing other domains registered to Respondent.
Respondent presents ample evidence that the registration was not made in bad faith and that it was not in fact “typosquatting.”
Respondent contends that it registered <orbotz.com> with the intention of developing a series of stories about robots called “Orbotz” on a planet in outer space.
As for the allegations of a “pattern” of “typosquatting” behavior, Complainant relies on Respondent’s registration of <qube.biz>, <qubez.org>, and <pebblesprint.com>.Complainant presents absolutely no evidence as to what marks these domain registrations purportedly infringe.
Respondent, by contrast, presents persuasive evidence of legitimate business use for each of these domains, further undermining the “typosquatting” argument.
The first two were purchased to protect Respondent’s <qubez.net> domain. The third Respondent intends to develop into a website dedicated to printing, and Respondent is not aware of any marks currently in use that the <pebblesprint.com> domain could infringe (nor has Complainant identified any).
Respondent’s early use the Disputed Domain Name provides additional evidence of good faith registration.
Until the website was parked in or around 2008, Respondent apparently used the domain name to promote an unrelated financial self-help initiative and the Allergic to Gravity sculpture business.
In addition, Respondent never sought to sell the Disputed Domain Name to Complainant, and rejected offers from third parties to purchase it.
Based upon this analysis, Complainant has not met its burden of proof to show that Respondent registered the domain name with a Policy ¶ 4(a)(iii) bad faith intent to trade on the goodwill associated with Complainant’s marks.
Even if Respondent had registered the Disputed Domain Name in bad faith, it is not at all clear that it was used in bad faith.
The “competing hyperlinks” cited by Complainant consist of a single link to “flights” in a list titled “related searches” that appears in a sidebar on the right side of the website.
Additional terms in the sidebar could be construed as related to the ORBITZ mark, but they are not highlighted by Complainant as relevant. The main content of the website includes “sponsored listings” linked to unrelated content including college information and fantasy football. Complainant provides no information about what content is accessible thought the “flights” link, so there is no evidence in the record that the link actually resolves to competing products or services.
The Panel therefore finds that the Disputed Domain Name has not been registered or used in bad faith.””