Gray Television Group, Inc. just lost a UDRP in an attempt to grab the domain name wdbj.com. The Complainant is the owner of numerous television stations in the United States, including WDBJ in Roanoke, Virginia, which it purchased from WDBJ Television Inc. in 2015. WDBJ is the call sign for this station, which broadcasts on Channel 7
The Complainant owns United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) Trade Mark Registration No. 4777079 for the word mark WDBJ7 (registered on July 21, 2015, first used in commerce on May 1969).
The Respondent is Radio plus, spol.s r.o. of the Czech Republic and is in the business of electronic trade. It also purchases and registers domain names.
The Disputed Domain Name was registered on July 11, 1996. At the time of the Complaint, the most recent update to the registration was on December 1, 2015.
At the time of filing the Complaint, the website at the Disputed Domain Name redirected users to a website displaying an error code and a pop-up which directed users to call a number for assistance and warned of suspicious activity. The website at the Disputed Domain Name now appears to be inactive.
However the one member panel of John Swinson was unable to find bad faith registration for the following reasons:
– There is no evidence of showing that the Respondent was, or should have been, aware of the Complainant or its registered and unregistered trade marks. There is no evidence that the trade mark is famous. The Disputed Domain Name and the Complainant’s registered trademark are not identical. Nothing on the record suggests that the Respondent should have had knowledge of the Complainant when it registered the Disputed Domain Name.
– Previous Panels have found that short domain names are valuable property. It is conceivable that the Respondent registered the Disputed Domain Name for this reason and not because of any value it may have as a trade mark.