Qatar sues owner of VisitQatar.com in continuation of a long-running battle.
After one Qatar state entity lost its attempt to get the domain VisitQatar.com through a cybersquatting claim, another state entity has sued the domain owner for trademark infringement.
In November 2019, Qatar National Tourism Council won a questionable UDRP against the domain name owner, who lives in Azerbaijan. The domain owner subsequently sued in U.S. court (where the tourism council agreed to jurisdiction) and got the court to agree that he wasn’t cybersquatting with the name.
Having lost the cybersquatting dispute, Qatar Airways is now suing (pdf) the domain owner for trademark infringement. The Secretary General of the tourism council is the CEO of state-owned Qatar Airways.
The airline claims that the site uses the image of an oryx that the airline uses in its logo. It also says that VisitQatar.com “links to third party travel booking services using Qatar Airways’ Oryx Marks.” It’s referring to the site using a third-party booking engine which, unsurprisingly, shows the logos of the airlines next to corresponding booking options.
Interestingly, Qatar Airways chose to sue the domain owner in U.S. court in the Eastern District of Virginia. That’s where Verisign is located.