Friday, May 16, 2008

The Philadelphia Flyers are kickin' butt and taking (domain) names

As a tribute to my beloved Philadelphia Flyers, who finally put the beat-down on the Pittsburgh Penguins last night, I am going to break from the normal format and review an older decision involving the best team in all of sports.

In Philadelphia Flyers, Inc. v. credoNIC.com/DOMAIN FOR SALE, WIPO Case No. D2006-0199 (Richard W. Page, April 21, 2006), the Panel required the transfer of flyersalumni.com to the top franchise in NHL hockey and owner of the FLYERS trademark.

In finding flyersalumni.com confusingly similar to the Complainant's FLYERS trademark, the Panel emphasized that "the incorporation of a trademark in its entirety is sufficient to establish that a domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the complainant’s registered mark. The addition of other generic or descriptive terms in the domain name does not affect a finding that the domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the complainant’s registered trademark." (Internal citations omitted.) Continuing, the Panel held that "[t]he term 'alumni' refers to past players on the hockey team and as such is generic and descriptive."

The Respondent had no affiliation with the Complainant, was not authorized to register or use the domain by the Complainant, and put forward no evidence of any rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain.

Given the foregoing, combined with the fact that the Respondent used the disputed domain to resolve to a website offering domain names (including the disputed domain) for sale, the decision to transfer was as easy as putting in an empty net goal.

One victory on home ice last night; one victory before WIPO on a UDRP claim. I'm looking for the Flyers to pull the hat trick this Sunday in Pittsburgh. Let's Go Flyers!

Some people acquire domain names; the Flyers acquire star hockey players, including Joffrey Lupul, who put on a clinic last night in scoring 2 goals against the Penguins.

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