A one member UDRP panel just awarded the domain name hack of Techcrun.ch to the publisher of Techcrunch.com which also owns the domain name TechCrunch.ch
For those that don’t know a domain hack is where a registrant uses a domain extension, typically a two letter country code (ccTLD) to spell a word.
In this case the .Ch extension is the country code for Switzerland and since its a ccTLD is subject to the rules, regulations and laws of the underlying country.
The short decision was published in German which I used Google Translate to get the English version:
“The applicant published under the domain name techcrunch.ch a blog about information technology. The applicant is the owner of the Swiss brand TechCrunch (No. 654 081), which was deposited on 23 September 2013, and is registered in Classes 35, 41 and 42. ”
“The Respondent has registered the domain name on October 8, 2013, but switched no website. It provides the domain name on the trading platform Sedo for sale. ”
“The Respondent did not submit a request reply. The representation of the applicant has thus remained unchallenged. ”
In accordance with paragraph 24 (c) of the Regulations is the process expert instead of the application if the registration or use of the domain name constitutes a clear infringement of a trademark law attributable to the applicant under the laws of Switzerland or Liechtenstein.
In accordance with paragraph 24 (d) of the Regulations method is a clear violation of an intellectual property right in particular if:
both the existence and the infringement of trademark rights asserted clearly arise from the wording of the law or of a recognized interpretation of the law and the facts presented and are demonstrated by the evidence submitted; and
the Respondent has no relevant grounds for defense pleaded and proven conclusively; and
the violation of the law, depending on the data collected in application submissions, transfer or cancellation of the domain name justifies.
According to Article 29 paragraph 2 of the Civil Code, a person who is affected by the fact that another is usurping his name, sue for an injunction this presumption. It can on the naming rights for support (BGE 128 II 353 4) both private and legal persons.
This requires the existence of an unauthorized Namensanmassung, ie an impairment of a legally worth protecting interests (BGE 112 II 371 E. b). This requirement is met if the acquisition by a third party causes a likelihood of confusion (BGE 112 II 369).
The mere risk of confusion (BGE 128 III 353) is sufficient, a real likelihood of confusion, however, is not necessary (BGE 102 II 167 E. a). According to the Federal Court case law is not only the unauthorized use of the full name as Namensanmassung, but already the acquisition of the main component (BGE 102 II 166).
The applicant may be based as a legal entity on the naming rights.
The applicant will be affected by this arrogance on the part of the Respondent.
The use of the domain name is likely to cause a likelihood of confusion with an average Internet user.
The insertion of the point before the ending “ch” is not able to eliminate the likelihood of confusion.
When calling the page “www.techcrun.ch”, a pop-up appears that the page could not be found.
This creates a risk of confusion, as a potential site visitors might assume that “www.techcrunch.ch” page no longer exists. Thus, the use of the name is unauthorized and the applicant is entitled to injunctive this presumption.
Since a name infringement is given, it can be left open in this case, whether there is an infringement of trademark of the applicant.
In summary, violated the registration of the domain name rights to the name of the applicant and there is a claim for injunctive relief.