Demand Media’s Demand Domains loses three letter .mobi domain name.
World Intellectual Property Organization panelist Warwick A. Rothnie has awarded Demand Media’s PEP.mobi domain name to South African retailer Pepkor.
Rothnie determined that the three letter generic domain name was registered in bad faith to target Pepkor’s “pep” mark because some of the ads on the parked pep.mobi page lead to ads targeted to South Africa — not necessarily because of the keywords on the landing page themselves.
Of course if someone from South Africa were to visit a link on any parked page they’d probably be served ads for businesses serving the country, since that’s how ads are served.
In this case, the Respondent does not appear to have used the disputed domain name solely or even primarily for its descriptive or generic significance. As already noted, the examples of the website included in the Annexes to the Complaint appear to target consumers in South Africa.
One has to wonder why Demand was even parking this domain name — surely it doesn’t generate much revenue. While I have no doubt that Demand Media was not thinking about Pepkor when it registered this domain name, blindly parking a three letter domain like this can really only lead to problems.