Panelist finds another company guilty of reverse domain name hijacking.
World Intellectual Property Organization panelist Tony Willoughby has found Aero Club of New Delhi, India guilty of reverse domain name hijacking in a UDRP.
This is Willoughby’s second RDNH finding in under a month. In both cases, it appears that the respondent did not specifically request the panelist to consider an RDNH charge. (Willoughby, like some other panelists, recognizes the duty to consider RDNH even when not asked.)
In this latest case, Aero Club filed a claim on the generic domain name Woodland.com. The respondent registered the domain name in 1999.
Aero has a shoe brand named Woodland, and tried to claim international fame. But it initially provided little evidence to the panel to back up this claim. Once prompted, it provided hundreds of pages of press clippings. However, the press didn’t show much fame outside of India, let alone anywhere near the complainant in Dallas. Nor did is show the fame dated back to 1999.
Willoughby noted that the respondent in the case “has reacted with commendable restraint to the outrageously misconceived and unsupported allegations of bad faith directed at it.”
He then goes on to list many grievances against Areo Club. Willoughy determined that Aero Club provided no evidence of bad faith registration. He also believes the company tried to mislead him with a statement regarding confusion between the Woodland.com domain and Aero Club’s actual domain name woodlandworldwide.com.
Aero Club was represented in the case by Lall & Sethi Advocates. The respondent was represented by Pezzulli Barnes, LLP.