Develi Restaurant chain guilty of abusing UDRP.
A restaurant in Turkey has been found guilty of reverse domain name hijacking over the domain name develi.com.
The complainant runs a restaurant chain called Develi and uses the domain name DeveliKebap.com.
A key problem for the complainant was that Develi is also the name of a city in Turkey. Although the complainant has trademarks including “Develi”, these are figurative marks as part of a drawing.
In fact, when the complainant tried to trademark a Develi logo in the United States, it specifically disclaimed the exclusive right to use “Develi”.
In finding the complainant guilty of reverse domain name hijacking, the panel wrote:
The Panel is troubled by the Complainant’s inability to provide suitable evidence to support its assertions of the extent to which it is well-known, in terms of its case that the Respondent was more likely than not to have been targeting it. More importantly, however, the Panel is concerned by the Complainant’s critical failure to address either in the Complaint or in its supplemental filing the fact that the name “Develi” holds a non-trademark meaning arising from the eponymous city. Instead, the Complainant attempts to rely upon bare averments that it is well-known, vague assertions as to the reach and extent of its restaurant chain with no supporting evidence and an unfounded submission that the Respondent is Turkish.