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Marchex Gets UDRP Win with Clara.com, Robot Blocking Justified

Company defends generic domain name and explains legitimate reasons for blocking robots.txt from parked domain names.

Marchex subsidiary MDNH has successfully defended the domain name Clara.com from an attack by a magazine publisher in Spain.

Complainant Rba Edipresse, S.L. owns a magazine called Clara, and argued that it should get the domain name because it has trademarks for the term “Clara” and that Marchex hadn’t used the domain name since it was registered.

Clara.com was one of the domain names Marchex acquired when it bought UltSearch. It pointed out that the domain name is generic (woman’s name, translates to “clear” in Spanish) and that the parked page at Clara.com didn’t contain links competing with the magazine. In other words, the magazine didn’t have exclusive rights to the term Clara. The panel agreed with this assessment.

The complainant argued that Marchex’s use of robots.txt to exclude bots from visiting the site, including Archive.org, was a sign of bad faith. Complainants frequently suggest that using robots.txt to block archive.org is a sign of bad faith, especially when the block is placed after a complaint is received. In this case, robots.txt was in place well before the complaint was made. Further, Marchex and sttorney John Berryhill explained many legitimate reasons why the company uses robots.txt on parked domain names:

1. Lowers bandwidth costs
2. Limits click fraud and appearance of click fraud due to same IP
3. Avoids reverse engineering, copyright issues, click fraud, and other issues inherent with archiving
4. Keep parked pages out of search engines
5. Archived pages show only what was visible in one location; geo-targeting of parked domains means archives not accurate for all users

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