WIPO panel rules in favor of domain name owner.
The owner of LionsDen.com since 1995 can keep his domain name, a World Intellectual Property Organization UDRP panel has decided.
Mile, Inc., which owns The Lion’s Den retail brand of adult entertainment products, filed the complaint arguing that the domain name infringed on its rights.
The company faced an uphill battle since the domain name is generic and was registered some 15 years before it filed the complaint. However, the domain name owner had recently parked the domain name and it showed adult advertisements.
Still, the domain owner successfully argued that he didn’t register the domain name in an attempt to infringe on the complainant’s brand. That’s a fair bet.
The complainant suggested to the panel that the current owner of the domain name may not have actually been the original registrant in 1995. But the panel said the complainant didn’t provide any evidence of this, such as historical whois from DomainTools. Perhaps the complainant’s lawyers did check DomainTools, but they would have found that the current owner has owned the domain name as far back as DomainTools records go to 2001.
Interestingly, one of the reasons the panel determined that the domain name wasn’t registered in bad faith was because “Respondent is not a professional domainer”.