Domain theft, a cancelled Sedo sale and Spain’s national soccer league.
Liga de Fútbol Profesional, the Spanish soccer league with 42 teams, has lost a UDRP over the domain name LaLiga.com.
“La Liga” translates to the dictionary term “league”, but the WIPO panelist who heard the case agreed that the term had acquired secondary meaning. The soccer league has multiple trademarks on the term.
Indeed, LaLiga.com was clearly created with the league in mind. It was set up as a fan site.
Pretty standard stuff so far. But this case is gets a bit interesting
It turns out the current owners of the domain name acquired it as part of a portfolio in 2006. They haven’t updated the site, so it still contains information dating to the 2003-2004 season. Until the current UDRP complaint, it even included trademarked graphical elements.
Liga de Fútbol Profesional says it agreed to pay the respondent GBP 10,000 to acquire the domain name through Sedo, but that the respondent didn’t transfer the domain and Sedo subsequently cancelled the deal.
Not so, says the respondent. The respondent claims the domain name was stolen at one point, and that perhaps the thief was the one who tried to sell it through Sedo.
The respondent has removed trademarked graphics from the site. Panelist M. Scott Donahey determined that, so long as the respondent uses the site as a fan site doesn’t use the domain name for commercial gain, it’s not in violation in which the domain should be transferred via UDRP.