Panel rules domain name not registered in bad faith.
A World Intellectual Property Organization panel has found in favor of the owner of the Fiesta.com domain name in a UDRP, although just one of three panelist found the complainant to have engaged in reverse domain name hijacking.
Dean & Simmons, Sàrl and Heintz Van Landewyck S.à.r.l. filed the UDRP against Fiesta.com. The company appears to have recently launched an e-cigarette under the Fiesta brand, but it also pulled up some old (and questioned) trademarks for the term “Fiesta”.
The complainants tried to buy the domain name anonymously for 1,000 EUR. When that failed, they filed the UDRP.
Attorney John Berryhill called the complaint a fraud, according to the panel’s decision (embedded below). However, only panelist Richard Lyon found the complainants to have brought the case in bad faith. Calling it “inexcusable”, Lyon wrote:
This is yet another case in which a complainant offers no proof whatsoever of several allegations essential to its case. As the Panel acknowledges the Complainant has included no evidence of its use of its FIESTA mark, no evidence that the word fiesta is in any way specially associated with the Complainant, no evidence of the “status and fame of the trademark,… [or] whether the domain name is used in connection with a purpose relating to its generic or descriptive meaning,” and no evidence of Respondent’s use of the disputed domain name. In a case in which the disputed domain name consists entirely of an everyday word in English and Spanish these omissions are fatal to the Complaint and to my mind inexcusable, especially when coming from a represented Complainant.
The decision is embedded below.