A recent decision under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) makes clear that the top-level domain name is important when it relates to the goods or services associated with the trademark. The most recent UDRP decision on this issue involves the domain name <oasis.clothing>, which was filed by Oasis Fashions Limited, a women’s fashion garments and clothing retailer in the United Kingdom.
As I have written more than once before, top-level domain names (“TLDs”) are playing an increasingly important role in some disputes under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (“UDRP”). In one of the latest cases, a UDRP panel found that the respondent’s domain name <judicial.watch> was identical to the complainant’s trademark JUDICIAL WATCH. In doing so, the panel cited both the established precedent on TLDs as well as the more recent trend.
Thousands of years after the first Passover celebration, a domain name dispute over <matzoball.com> raises some interesting new questions. These questions may be unique to the <matzoball.com> case, but the issues they raise are applicable to many other domain name disputes and should be considered by any trademark owner before filing a UDRP complaint.
WIPO has now confirmed what I noted in December: 2018 was a record year for domain name disputes. According to the final tally, trademark owners filed 3,447 complaints with WIPO under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP). That’s an increase of more than 12 percent from the previous year, which had also set a record.
Filing a complaint under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) is usually seen as a quicker and less-expensive alternative to litigation, but the filing fees charged by the UDRP service providers are often an important consideration. Understanding the fees charged by the four providers — the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the Forum (formerly the National Arbitration Forum), the Czech Arbitration Court (CAC), and the Asian Domain Name Dispute Resolution Centre (ADNDRC) — is therefore vital to the process.