Panel really screwed this one up.
A three person National Arbitration Forum panel has ordered the transfer of the domain name FatTuesday.com to David Briggs Enterprises, Inc. The complainant operates bars under the name Fat Tuesday and uses the inferior domain name Fat-Tuesday.com.
Of course, Fat Tuesday is also the name for what many of us think of as Mardi Gras. Mardi Gras is French for “Fat Tuesday”. Type “Fat Tuesday” into Google, and it duly pops up the date of this holiday.
Amazingly, the three person panel of Sheri L. Falco, Darryl C. Wilson and Terry F. Peppard seemed to ignore the fact that this domain name exactly matches the name of a holiday.
The panel was apparently miffed that the domain name was somehow transferred after notice of the UDRP was filed. I don’t think the domain name was technically transferred to a new owner, but it really doesn’t matter. There’s no way the panel should have found that the domain name was registered and used in bad faith.
The domain name — which exactly matches a holiday — has been inactive for many years. The complainant pointed out that the domain name sold for $16,500 in 2007. The owner of the domain name, unsurprisingly, asked for more to sell the domain name.
The panel wrote:
Indeed that Respondent’s registration of the domain name was in service of an attempt to extract from Complainant a price of $100,000.00 or more from the sale of an inactive domain name, which is a price demonstrably in excess of Respondent’s proven costs in acquiring and maintaining the domain name, falls squarely within the parameters of Policy 4(b)(i), which identifies circumstances in which it may be found that a domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith as that term is understood in the Policy.
No, no and no. It’s THE NAME OF A HOLIDAY! It doesn’t matter if a company has been able to also trademark the name for limited purposes.
You can read the case decision here.