GE loses domain name dispute. Did it fall on its own sword?
General Electric (GE) has lost a domain name dispute under UDRP for the domain GEEntertainment.com.
This is an interesting case for two reasons:
1. The complainant provided too much information to the panel, giving the keys to the panel to find in the respondent’s favor despite receiving no reply from the respondent.
2. It appears the panelist did some of his own research to supplement his findings.
GEEntertainment.com is registered to an Atlanta company that represents musicians, specifically rappers. In its complaint, GE submitted printed out pages of the web site along with the respondent company’s registration for G.E. Entertainment, LLC. Normally a respondent provides such registration showing a legitimate interest in a domain name. But in this case, the respondent didn’t reply to the accusations. So GE actually helped out the domain owner.
With regards to the panelist, he makes certain statements that indicate he did supplemental research for the case. For example, he wrote:
It is true that the Complainant currently owns a major entertainment group, but from the record in this proceeding it appears that the Complainant’s entertainment products and services are marketed under the NBC and Universal names and a variety of marks associated with particular broadcasting and cable channels, websites, and production studios. The Complainant’s most recent annual report lists 23 “brandsâ€ used in its “Media and Entertainmentâ€ business. Not one of them includes the letters “GEâ€.
I suppose it’s possible that GE included a copy of its annual report in its complaint. But regardless, the way the rest of the decision is written, it’s clear that this panelist went above and beyond what his peers do in the case of no response from the respondent in a UDRP.
Certainly not the same panelist as the one in the “savechildren” case.
Steve M says
A panelist clearly well deserving of his position.
a good news story for the little guy , santa came early it seems, what stupid complaint to start with , i would never associate G.E with that domain/website
very good panelist 🙂
Unfortunately many do not know the difficulty to respond to WIPO disputes, and unless you go through the process, you will not realize how difficult, time-consuming and costly it is to respond. In brief, the complainant can take all of the time he needs before submitting a UDR dispute. Sometimes it takes a few years for the complainant to decide to take an action against the respondent. In almost all cases, the complainant is a medium to large company that is able to shell out $1,000 for the application fee and $10,000 for legal fees. On the other hand, the respondent has 20 days from receiving the UDR to find a lawyer; and most lawyers will not take a complainant’s case preferring to stay with the rich and famous and not go against them. So finding a lawyer to defend you is a very big job, and to submit a response within 20 days is sometimes impossible. If you decide to take the matter into your own hands, you must have the latest Adobe software, and you must be computer savvy, and it will take up to 15 hours to research and reply. You must send 4 copies to WIPO in Switzerland to be received on time, and it will cost $120 for FedEx fees. After spending all of this time and effort, you may not be able to meet the deadline and the panelist in 90% of the cases will consider your default as a weakness. So it is a win-win situation for the complainant and for the respondent it is a lose-lose situation. The WIPO panelist should be honest enough to consider those difficulties and do the same thing that this panelist has done – make his own research to find out what is right and what is wrong. It amazes me that many panelists make $100,000 plus a year from WIPO cases, and if you read how they decide on a case, it is a carbon copy for each case with changes only to the name and some other facts to make the case fit. Other than that, it is no more than a couple of hours of his or her time to decide a case. Sometimes a panelist will be working on four or five cases at a time. It is a big business for WIPO and the panelists they favor. I am very surprised that this organization has any connection with the United Nations. A complete cleaning of the house will happen in due time.