Google won the UDRP case it brought seeking transfer of the domain name www.glassgoogle.com. We reported the complaint filing last month and commented that the decision would be interesting because the registrant was a China based company that does artistic glass manufacturing – thereby creating a certain threshold of plausibility that is usually not present in such cases.
The image to the left is one of the companies sample artistic colored vases.
The decision was straightforward and simply turned on the strength of the GOOGLE mark and the fact that the registrant did not respond. In fact, the panel noted that the GOOGLE mark is an “invented” name and that there was no explanation as to why it was included as part of the domain, though the panel also noted that the domain was registered before any publicity about Google’s “Google Glass” product was released in the market.
The decision is unremarkable except for the fact that there is no real explanation of the “Bad Faith” requirement under UDRP law. Specifically, the panel barely mentioned the fact that the China-based registrant is (or at least appears to be) a legitimate company and artistic glass manufacturer. Further, there was also no mention of the fact that the trademark GOOGLE is often mis-used as a verb and that the domain registration could easily be viewed as a reference to searching the Internet for glass (or artistic glass) and not an attempt to compete with Google.
These are obviously points that could have been made by the registrant in a response, however, considering that the matter is not the standard-issue click-through fee and profit from using the mark type of situation, the panel should have taken the time to conduct an analysis of how even in the entirely unrelated business/trade of “artistic glass figurines” this type of use is unlawful under UDRP law.