National Arbitration panelist gives nuanced discussion of using a trademark term in a domain name that could be used for criticism.
Banking giant Capital One has lost a cybersquatting complaint brought against the owner of CapitalOneReviews.com, a domain name registered in October last year.
It’s a well-reasoned case that examines the use of trademarks in domain names intended to be used as gripe or review sites.
Panelist Charles A. Kuechenmeister closely examined all three prongs of the UDRP and the varying viewpoints on how it applies to sites like CapitalOneReviews.com.
Identical and/or Confusingly Similar
There are two schools of thought that apply to domain names that include derogatory terms or terms that suggest a domain name is not owned by the trademark holder.
One school is that a domain name isn’t confusingly similar if it includes a term that tells internet users that they shouldn’t expect the site to be owned by the trademark holder. So if the domain is CompanyNameSucks.com, a typical internet user will not be confused into visiting the site thinking it’s operated by the company.
The other school is that all that matters is that the domain name contains the trademark or something similar.
Kuechenmeister opted for the second school of thought, and he gave a fairly good rationale: Click here to continue reading…