TUESDAY, 21 SEPTEMBER 2010
Are you on facebok?
a rather straightforward case (No. D2010-1247), decided before WIPO’s administrative
panel, Facebook Inc. succeded in having the domain name <facebok.com> transferred
to them. The domain name was initially registered by Mr Bauer of Germany on April
2009. According to the decision, as of July 27, 2010, the disputed domain
name re-directed visitors to “http://freebiesfrog.com”, a site that recreated a
similar look and feel to the Facebook website. Users were invited to complete
surveys about their online experience with the promise of receiving a free (and
fairly expensive) gift. Users were then redirected to a new website where they
must sign up for a credit card or other type of consumer loan in order to
qualify for the gift. The decision
includes a summary of Facebook’s story, recognition of the world-wide reputation
of the Facebook mark and very useful citations of relevant WIPO decisions.
The typosquatting element was also employed to decide bad faith. The sole panelist cited Wachovia Corporation v. Peter Carrington, WIPO Case No. D2002-0775 “ ‘Respondent’s practice of using the domain names for the purpose of diverting users to an unrelated Internet site is "classic bad faith.", as well as Backstreet Prods., Inc. v. Zuccarini, WIPO Case No. D2001-0654 and AltaVista Co. v. Yomtobian, WIPO Case No. D2000-0937 to find that misspellings alone are sufficient to prove bad faith under paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy.
It is interesting to note how the disputed name appears to have been brought to Facebook’s attention (also) by its users. A good deal of relevant comments of indeed confused Facebook users appear at the Facebook Help Center here and seem genuine enough.
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