Online business formation company loses arbitration case.
Business Filings Incorporated, which offers business filing services at BizFilings.com, has lost a domain name dispute over BizFiling.com (singular version).
The company registered BizFilings.com back in 1996, but for many years used the brand “Business Filings Incorporated” on its web site. It filed an intent-to-use trademark in 2000 for BizFilings, which was refused a couple years later. Then in 2008 it filed a trademark again, citing a first-use-in-commerce date of 1996. The respondent registered the domain name in 2002.
As the respondent’s attorney John Berryhill pointed out, it’s impossible that the company was using BizFilings as a trademark back in 1996 when it first registered the domain name. He showed many examples of the company using its Business Filings Incorporated brand on its web site instead, and it filed an intent-to-use application in 2000 — suggesting that the company wasn’t using the BizFilings brand yet.
The three person World Intellectual Property Forum determined that the domain name wasn’t registered in bad faith.