Parlance Corporation lost a UDRP against Dynamo.com on the domain name parlance.com
Of course the domain name is also a dictionary word and the panel found “the Complaint fails to establish either bad-faith registration or bad-faith use” so the panel should have found Reverse Domain Name Hijacking but didn’t even discuss the issue.
Here are the relevant findings by the one member panel:
The Complainant alleged that it owns A registered trademark PARLANCE and has used it since at least 1996 for its business, which is the provision of telephone operator services using speech recognition technology.
The mark was registered in June 1999.
The domain name was registered in August 2001, some 12 years ago but the panel also did not discuss the delay in bringing the proceeding either.
I think it was a lazy decision but a no brainier for the domain holder
“The Complainant alleges that the Respondent registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith because it is in the business of buying and selling domain names.
“The Respondent owns over 5000 domain names and it replied to an email from Complainant with an offer to acquire the disputed domain name, stating that the Complainant is not eligible to acquire or purchase the domain name (apparently the Respondent only sells domain names to entities that acquired a related mark after the domain name was registered)
“The Respondent states that it registered the disputed domain name for its own business use immediately upon abandonment by the prior registrant.
The Respondent executes name conception, logos and brand graphics, trademark research, and promotional copy for new start-ups and for corporations.
Founded in Silicon Valley and based there until 2005, the Respondent holds, and manages for clients, generic and coined domains from and for use in its business.
There are hundreds of companies in the US alone which offer the service of coining and locating names which are viable for a new mark use. Ideally the name proffered has an obtainable intuitive dotcom. The service is neither novel nor obscure, with demand over the past 20 years increasing alongside the growth of the internet.
“As the Respondent correctly points out, there is case law under the Policy to the effect that a business dealing in generic domain names is prima facie legitimate.
“As a result, it does have a legitimate interest in the domain name.
Since “parlance” is a word in the English language, and the Respondent is in the business of registering domain names composed of common words, the Panel holds that the Complainant has failed to satisfy its burden of proving that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests.
“And this in particular because the disputed domain name is not strongly associated in the minds of the general public with a single, particular trademark owner: while the Complainant has a trademark registration, it has not shown that its mark is famous or even particularly well known; on the contrary, the Respondent has presented evidence to the effect that many other companies use marks or business names that are similar to the disputed domain name.”
The Panel holds that the Complaint fails to establish either bad-faith registration or bad-faith use. As noted above, while the mark is indeed registered, it has not been shown to be so famous as to make it reasonable to assume that the Respondent was aware of it and deliberately targeted the Complainant or sought to trade on its goodwill when registering the domain name. There is no evidence that, in the two-year period between the Complainant’s registration of the mark and the Respondent’s registration of the domain name, the Respondent became (or had reason to become) aware of it.
Further, while passive holding of a domain name may be sufficient to indicate bad faith, those are typically cases in which the complainant’s mark is sufficiently well known that it would be implausible to assume that the respondent was not aware of it. That is not the case here.
In addition, being in the business of selling domain names is not, per se, indicative of bad faith in the sense of the Policy. “