Trademark disclaims rights to “YourNeighborhood”.
Eric Levy, who runs the neighborhood information site YourNeighborhood.co, has lost a UDRP against the domain name YourNeighborhood.com.
He’s lucky the panelist didn’t bother to find him guilty of reverse domain name hijacking, too. The panelist determined that he was “trying to pull a fast one”, though.
Levy’s filing claimed that the YourNeighborhood mark was “well-known” and that Complainant has made “extensive use” of the mark. But the panelist noted that the complaint lacked any evidence to show this. In fact, the complainant’s trademark for YourNeighborhood is actually a design mark for YOURNEIGHBORHOOD LOVE WHERE YOU LIVE. Oh, and it specifically disclaims any rights in “YourNeighborhood”.
The complainant didn’t attach the trademark registration as an exhibit, and panelist Robert A. Badgley decided that Levy was “trying to pull a fast one”:
Complainant holds rights in a mark containing the words YOURNEIGHBORHOOD LOVE WHERE YOU LIVE… Throughout the Complaint, Complainant refers solely to the YOURNEIGHBORHOOD component of this mark, and makes no mention of the other words. Nor did Complainant attach a copy of the USPTO registration as an annex to the Complaint, which would have been common practice. This omission is important, because it obscures the fact that the registration specifically disclaims any right in the text YOURNEIGHBORHOOD apart from the mark as shown. The Panel suspects legerdemain on the part of Complainant. Not only was this important information omitted from the Complaint, but Complainant actually asserted in the pleadings that “the Domain Name completely incorporates Complainants’ [sic] Mark.” The manifest falsity of that statement persuades the Panel that Complainant was trying to pull a fast one.
Panelists usually don’t take kindly to someone trying to dupe them. This, combined with the complainant’s admission that the domain registrant has owned the domain since before it started using its mark, is usually grounds for reverse domain name hijacking. But Badgley didn’t bother to consider it, perhaps because the domain owner didn’t respond to the UDRP.