Ads on Octopus.com will shift burden to domain name owner.
A travel company has filed a UDRP against Octopus.com, which was originally registered in 1986.
OctopusTravel.com operator Octopustravel Group Limited filed the complaint against a Singapore man.
Octopus.com was originally registered in 1986 but transferred to the current registrant no earlier than 2009. Octopustravel Group filed for a U.S. trademark for “OctopusTravel” in 2000 that was granted in 2002.
In 2006 the previous owner put up a web site about the the animal the name refers to.
The problem lies in ads that were added to the site in 2009. Ads served by Google and Adbrite are for travel bookings.
These ads are viewed in the United States, so it’s possible the owner of the domain name isn’t aware of their existence. It’s also possible that the advertisers specifically bid on the web site at the advertisers.
Still, this creates a problem for the domain’s owner.
But even if a UDRP panel finds that the domain was was registered to target OctopusTravel, the latter will still have to prove that it has rights to the mark “Octopus” for travel. Rights in OctopusTravel alone will not be enough.