SUNDAY, 27 JULY 2008
WIPO: "tmobilerebait.com" registered in bad faith
The WIPO arbitration panel has ruled that the domain name "tmobilerebait.com" had been used and registered in bad faith and ordered that the domain be transferred to its legitimate owner, Deutsche Telekom AG.
The Complainant is a German telecommunication company with a global business presence and owns trade marks T-MOBILE and TMOBILE in various jurisdictions in the international classes 9, 14, 16, 25, 28, 36, 37, 38 and 42 and also owns the TLD domain names for both trade marks ending on “.com”, “.us”, “.net”, “.co.uk” and “.de”. The disputed domain name "tmobilerebait.com" was originally registered on 14 June 2005 in the name of the Rebel.com Corp. The Respondent in the current proceeding is Domain Park Limited, Berlin, Germany. Ana María Pacón, acting as sole panelist, found that the disputed domain name was confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trade mark as required by paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.
"The only differences... are the addition of the generic term “rebait” and the deletion of a hyphen between the letter “t” and the world “mobile”. ... the disputed domain name incorporates the entirety of the trademark and is clearly designed to invoke the T-MOBILE trademark. The addition of the generic expression “rebait”, a misspelled, but phonetically identical version of the common word “rebate” would likely draw Internet users to the conclusion that the domain name relates to the Complainant’s trademark. Thus, Internet users would probably assume that the “rebait/rebate” appearing in the disputed domain name is a rebate provided by the Complainant."
The sole panelist found that the Complainant made out an initial prima facie case that the Respondent lacks rights or interests in the disputed domain name. On the point of "bad faith" the sole Panelist ruled that paragraph 4(b) the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy
"...indicates that certain circumstances may, “in particular but without limitation” be evidence of bad faith. ... there are several circumstances indicating that the Respondent must have been aware of the Complainant’s trademark at the time of [the] registration of the domain name at issue. The Complainant’s trademark T-MOBILE is a well-known trademark in the sector of telecommunications. The Respondent’s website displays services ― among others ― in the same field of business. It is common to know the trademarks of competitors. The content of the Respondent’s website, i.e. sponsored links to a variety of products, is, in the view of the Panel, an indication of the Respondent’s intent to attract consumers to its website by taking advantage of the Complainant’s name and goodwill (paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the [Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution] Policy). The Respondent was contacted by the Complainant in February 2008 on two occasions in relation to its registration of several domain names that included the Complainant’s trademark T-MOBILE. The Respondent did not answer, but shortly after the Complainant filed a complaint against the Respondent it cancelled all the domain names except the disputed domain name."
As such, the Panel concluded that the disputed domain had been registered and used in bad faith. For all the above reasons and in accordance with Paragraphs 4(i) of the Policy and 15 of the Rules, the Panelist ordered that the domain name "tmobilerebait.com" had to be transferred to the Complainant.
Case reference: Deutsche Telekom AG v. Domain Park Limited, Case No. D2008-0624 of 14 July 2008.
Class 46: the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy can be found here.
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