Owners of three and four character domain names win UDRP decisions.
Owning short domain names comes with risks. They are prized domains, and many people want to get their hands on them. The owner of Ace.com recently won its case, but the assaults continue. Here are several recent cases that domain owners managed to win.
In this case, a company you’ve probably never heard of — Anu Enterprises — went after domain owner DomainRegistry.com.
Anu Enterprises stated “Respondent probably acquired the disputed domain name because Respondent wanted to capitalize on the fact that many companies around the world used the mark ANU. The Respondent can be found to have been acting in bad faith even if its actions are outside the circumstances listed in the Policy.”
That’s an interest complaint, because it basically states that many other companies should have rights to the domain name, too.
The panel found that the owner registered the domain in 1999, well before Anu Enterprises received any common law trademark rights to the domain and before it filed for a trademark. But it wouldn’t find Anu Enterprises guilty of reverse domain hijacking.
BioDelivery Sciences International, Inc. tried to get the four character domain name BDSI.com. But it failed to prove any of the three requirements to win. The domain owner is HLK Enterprises, Inc.
The panel made good observations about generic and short acronym domain names, as well as domain parking, which should be music to domain owners’ ears:
However, based on the fact that the disputed domain name and Complainant’s mark contain only four letters that could stand for many things unrelated to Complainant’s business, the Panel finds that Respondent’s use of the disputed domain name as a portal website is a showing of rights or legitimate interests under Policy…As discussed in the previous section, the disputed domain name and the asserted mark are comprised of generic and common terms. The four letters that create the asserted mark and the disputed domain name could stand for many things that do not interfere with Complainant’s business.
Xoft Inc. lost its challenge for Xoft.com, owned by Frank Schilling’s company. Interestingly, Schilling’s Name Administration used the defense that xoft.com implies “soft porn”.
The panel found that the domain registration predated Xoft Inc.’s trademark and use of the domain.
What further frustrates Complainant’s claim to superior rights is its previous abandonment of two trademark applications for XOFT on August 20, 2003, and again on May 13, 2004. Even if Respondent had known of Complainant’s pending trademark application when it filed the disputed domain name, which Respondent denies, it would have been reasonable to suspect that Complainant might again be unable to maintain the application, quite possibly for lack of commercial use.
Name Administration bought the domain through an expired domain auction.