There was a clean sweep of denials (something I have never seen before) issued by the National Arbitration Forum (NAF) early this morning (Saturday) on UDRP’s filed over the domains <www.orbotz.com.>, <www.blucigsreview.net>, and <www.musiczoo.com>. Interestingly enough, the musiczoo.com domain resolves to the domain name “reversedomainnamehijacking.webs.com”.
The musiczoo.com decision is particularly interesting because it discusses the legitimate use of “pay-per-click” sites by a registrant that has the benefit of having held the domain for a long time prior to the complainant establishing trademark rights. Respondent actually had registered a whole bunch of domain names with the suffix -zoo, like outletzoo, pczoo and others, more than a decade ago.
In the blucigsrew.net decision, the pro se respondent beat back a UDRP claim brought by a major international law firm as the panel found that the complainant was less than “candid” regarding the evidence it had presented in its complaint:
“[h]owever, the Panel would note, the prima facie case made by Complainant was less than candid. Although Complainant clearly knew that the domain name registration predated its own trade mark registration, it did not bother to note that issue. Further, it has offered neither evidence of a common law mark nor evidence of an assignment of rights by its predecessor in interest.”
Lastly, the panel in orbotz.com explained that the respondent, a company known as Allergic to Gravity that builds custom Lego models, had held the domain for many years, tried to use it for its business and then parked it for a few years as it re-established itself, had never tried to sell the domain and did not post links or information related to Orbitz.com (complainant) until it parked the page in 2008:
“Respondent’s early use the Disputed Domain Name provides additional evidence of good faith registration. Until the website was parked in or around 2008, Respondent apparently used the domain name to promote an unrelated financial self-help initiative and the Allergic to Gravity sculpture business. See Complainant’s Ex. D. In addition, Respondent never sought to sell the Disputed Domain Name to Complainant, and rejected offers from third parties to purchase it.”