When is a typo not a typo?
Is eHelper.com a typo of EdHelper.com? Yes, according to National Arbitration Forum panelist Sandra J. Franklin.
In a decision handed down yesterday, Franklin awarded the domain name eHelper.com to the owner of EdHelper.com. It’s a strange decision since eHelper is fundamentally different than EdHelper. It’s not a typo in the same way EdHlper.com would be, and eHelper.com is a legitimate, stand alone name for a possible web site. It’s like saying that Domains.com is a typo of iDomains.com because it omits one letter. Or Bay.com is a typo of eBay.com.
Even in the examples of typosquatting cases Franklin gives, they were all clear cut cases, whereas this is completely different. In her decision, she wrote:
Complainant argues that Respondent’s ehelper.com domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s EDHELPER mark pursuant to Policy 4(a)(i). Respondent’s disputed domain name merely deletes a letter from Complainant’s mark and adds the generic top-level domain name (“gTLDâ€) extension “.com.â€ The Panel finds that the mere deletion of a letter from Complainant’s EDHELPER mark results in confusing similarity for the purposes of Policy 4(a)(i). See Guinness UDV N. Am., Inc. v. Dallas Internet Servs., D2001-1055 (WIPO Dec. 12, 2001) (finding the smirnof.com domain name confusingly similar to the complainant’s SMIRNOFF mark because merely removing the letter “fâ€ from the mark was insignificant); see also Neiman Marcus Group, Inc. v. Party Night, Inc., FA 114546 (Nat. Arb. Forum July 23, 2002) (finding that the neimanmacus.com domain name was a simple misspelling of the complainant’s NEIMAN MARCUS mark and was a classic example of typosquatting, which was evidence that the domain name was confusingly similar to the mark).
It didn’t help that the owner of eHelper.com didn’t respond to the complaint. But finding typosquatting in this case is quite a stretch. Perhaps it’s an example cut-and-paste arbitration.
Paul Keating says
They have been aggressively pursuing all versions of the names. I won a recent WIPO matter for EdUhelper.com. They are also pursing cctlds.
It is too bad that the respondent here defaulted as I believe that with very little argument the decision could have gone the other way.
Domain Investor says
As Paul stated, if the respondent had fought this, he could have won.
“Since no response was submitted in this case, the Panel may presume that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. However, the Panel will still examine the record in consideration of the factors listed in Policy ¶ 4(c)”
Sure. She will look at what was presented as evidence and probably nothing else.
Apparently, the domain owner told the complainant that he recently purchased it and he wanted ???? for it.
If someone can not afford to pay an IP lawyer, they should still attempt to fight it themselves.
The panelist will take it in consideration when the respondent is not a lawyer.
Domain Investor says
We are very fortunate that we have a number of outstanding IP lawyers that are domainer friendly.
Here are just a few –
NatArb Forum is a Joke. They are just a money making scam operation.
There is no reason why you should have to respond in order to win a UDRP.
If the owner responded he *MAY* have won but his PPC page is showing Education related links so he would have got nailed there.
well the keyword here is helper which can not be TMed and is a form of education. The “TM infringement” was not caused by the domain holder, its the parked page that optimizes itself based on google keywords searches. If the owner just got the domain maybe he didnt have time to correct it? Excuse my ignorance but ive never heard of edhelper.com.
Why doesn’t the panelist write a letter to Verisign asking them to block all registrations that are 1 letter different than an existing domain?
I’d love to see Verisign’s response…
Agree with UDRPtalk.
Ridiculous decision !
looks like Sandra J. Franklin STOLE another domain name from a legitimate domain owner.
Clifford D. Hyra says
I represented edHelper in this case. The bottom line is that the registrant did not use the domain as a “legitimate, stand alone name for a possible web site”, but instead to divert my client’s customers to generate PPC revenue.
Anyone who registers or acquires a domain name similar to an edHelper trademark in order to profit from diverting and confusing edHelper customers is a trademark infringer and will be pursued.
Well good for you. You screwed someone out of a good domain. Personaly I think eHelper.com is far superior of a domain and totally a stronger stand alone brand. Just like eHow.com or eBay.com. And just an FYI selling ads on a site is legit.
Paul Keating says
“Anyone who registers or acquires a domain name similar to an edHelper trademark in order to profit from diverting and confusing edHelper customers is a trademark infringer and will be pursued.”
The issue is whether the mark is descriptive. If the mark is for “education assistance” then use of the mark for that purpose would not be infringing. The use would be consistent with the descriptive nature of the terms comprising the domain.
I personally feel that this asserted mark is descriptive and as long as the domain were used for descriptive purposes I would welcome any domain registrant that holds an “e” or “ed” helper domain to contact me.
The only reason you went after ehelper.com that it is more valuable than edhelper.com it is crazy that you got the domain I am giving you a new list to go after. myhelper.com TeenHelper.com ($708.00)AsianHelper.com ($695.00)StarHelper.com ($500.00)RentHelper.com ($1,700.00)HostHelper.com ($500.00)CustomHelper.com ($1,243.00) and there is over 1100 more to go after that has the generic word helper.
this is one of the worst udrp decision
This is why the UDRP as a mechanism is flawed and needs to be revamped in its entirety. And it will not come without a legal action. It’s becoming a sham or shall I say, it’s already a sham.
Evidently, there is no requirement for rationalization in business law to arrive at a decision in UDRP cases.
Once again, UDRP FAILS.
This lowers the value of all domains! The fact that your domain can be stolen from you at any time with NO APPEAL PROCESS is a SHAM indeed.
What if eHelper owner was on vacation? What if his family inherited the domain and has no idea what to do in the case of reverse hi-jacking.
Sue Cliff and his client, fuck them both. Legal action is the country has become too common. It is EASIER to file UDRP than make an offer of 1-2k$ They would rather risk losing legal “fees” which really is just some hourly wages these fuckheads make up to make it seem like they do anything but COPY AND PASTE a case agaist you.
This industry is falling apart, not because of domainers, but because of LAWYER SCUM.