SNIPEIT! can’t snipe domain arbitration.
Auction sniper software company eSnipe, Inc. of Bellevue, Washington, has failed to snipe the domain name SnipeIt.com through domain arbitration.
Either the company doesn’t have strong trademarks dating back to earlier this decade or its lawyer failed to convey them to the arbitration panel. In making no finding of bad faith by registrant Modern Empire Internet, Ltd, the panel wrote:
The Complainant points to its claimed dates of first use of two of its service marks (in 2000) and its use from 2001 of its domain name, esnipe.com, for its website and contends that the Respondent must have been aware of that use when it registered the Domain Name….
What evidence is there before the Panel to suggest that the Respondent, a Hong Kong entity, might have been aware of the Complainant’s uses of its service mark, ESNIPE, since January 2000, its service mark, SNIPEIT!, since August 2000 and its domain name esnipe.com since January 2001? There is no evidence at all. Insofar as the service marks are concerned the Complainant relies solely upon its claims to first use appearing in the USPTO records for its registrations. Thus they are bare assertions. Nor has the Panel been provided with any evidence of the Complainant’s use of its domain name, simply a Whois printout to demonstrate the date of registration in 1999.
The arbitration panel also found that evidence produced by the respondent’s attorney John Berryhill shows that “snipe” is a common and generic term in auction bidding. The panel wrote that this left open “The strong possibility that entities in different parts of the world might quite likely come up with the same or similar snipe-related names independently of one another.”
Case details here.