A few days ago we wrote about Netflix losing the URS on the domain name Netflix.website in what we described as the strangest decision of the year, which was decided by the same Examiner as this case, David J. Steele Esq.
Here we go again:
The domain name doesn’t resolve but the domain holder said “I registered this domain with the intention of creating a fan site, with news and updates on the Complainant’s service. I have all intention of proceeding while respecting the Complainant’s marks, and will not confuse the public as to my site’s ownership (E.g. will not use the Complainant’s logo).”
The Examiner said because “such a use by Respondent could evidence a legitimate noncommercial or fair use under the Policy” (that is assuming the domain holder ever puts up such a site) he “cannot conclude whether or not Respondent has a legitimate right or interest to the domain name”
However Mr. Steele goes on to say “besides the domain holders self-serving statement, Respondent has failed to put into the record any facts which support his claim.”
Yet “because this record raises, but does not provide adequate information to I must find for the Respondent on this element.”
So basically all someone has to do is tell Mr Steele he plans on using a domain name and it seems Mr. Steele is inclined to deny a URS filed by a trademark holder.
Mr. Steele may single-handedly kill off the URS as a viable option for trademark holders.