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Insurance Company Loses Generic Domain Name Land Grab

Combined Insurance Group Ltd loses two domain name arbitration cases.

Combined Insurance Group Ltd has lost two domain name battles for seemingly generic domains, CheapAutoInsurance.com and CheapAutosInsurance.com. The company claims trademark rights to “Cheap Auto Insurance”, even though many of these trademarks and their dates of use are questionable based on evidence brought forth by the respondents.

The insurance company owns the domain name Cheap-Auto-Insurance.com. It should remind you of another case where a company with a hyphenated domain name is making a dubious case: the owner of c-a-s-i-n-o-s.org going after casinos.org.

For CheapAutoInsurance.com, the panel found that the complainant had not established a prima facie case in support of its arguments that respondent lacks rights and legitimate interests in the domain name.

The second case involves the plural version of auto, CheapAutoSinsurance.com. Combined Insurance Group Ltd claimed that this was simply a case of typosquatting, since the only difference between this domain and the trademark was the added ‘S’ on autos. But since the version of the domain that would be typosquatted isn’t just CheapAutoInsurance.com (it’s cheap-auto-insurance.com), this is a questionable claim. In this case, the panel found that the respondent had rights or legitimate interests in the domain, and it was not registered in bad faith.

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  1. Domain Investor says

    Both lawyers up’ed his cost by requiring 3 panelists.

    I guess it cost him $ 10K to lose both cases plus it set a precedent against the complainant. Now, he will have difficulty going after other domains without these cases being referenced.

  2. Johnny says

    Why the HELL is the NAF and WIPO allowing these to even be brought up for UDRP? Money maybe? Duh!!

    They review these cases in advance supposedly to find whether the case has merit and should advance to panelists. They are approving these cases.

    There is NO way that they Respondent should have ever had to respond to this.

    Total bull ! I’m really getting sick and tired and mad at this process.

  3. Steve Jones says

    At least at the end of the day they wasted a lot of money trying to do this. Still though, they should get fingered for a RDNH attempt – ridiculous that they thought they were entitled to these domains.

  4. Tmbo says

    Wow. And I just recently handed my domain over to them thinking it was theirs because of the trademark issue. Very generic terms.

  5. Chris says

    As long as there is value in something there will always be someone who tries to steal it or take it.

    Look at the history of Gold from the Incas to modern day…

    The good thing about this story is that they simply did not get away with what they tried to steal! Valid cases are normally very obvious cases of fraud. This is just a classic case of NAF Covering Their A’s on this one.

  6. bernard says

    Tough times for domainers!

    Poor income insufficient to cover basic costs, and now obliged to pay lawyers to keep such a bad name as CheapAutoInsurance.com

  7. Karen Bernstein says

    This case had no merit whatsoever and it is just another one of those situations where a complainant thinks they can get a transfer just because they were able to obtain a federal trademark registration. There was evidence that the complainant abandoned any so-called “trademark rights” in the name at the time our client registered cheapautosinsurance.com. In this case, the complainant knew they had no trademark rights and filed the complaint anyway well knowing that they weren’t using the domain name when the client registered the domain name but brought the arbitration proceeding against them anyway. They somehow thought that running high legal bills with a big law firm and presenting the Panel with over 3,000 pages of useless documents (including the additional submission which weighed around 16 pounds) would get them a transfer. This should have been evidence alone to get a RDNH decision. The Panel’s refusal on both decisions to grant RDNH further highlights the fact that RDNH is a useless tool against preventing meritless claims. Ridiculous that the respondent shouldn’t be able to recover their fees after all the work that went into defending this case.

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