Company that uses atproperties.com wanted the “domain hack”.
Illinois real estate company @Properties has failed to get the domain name AT.properties in a UDRP.
@Properties uses the domain name atproperties.com, and also registered atproperties in multiple top level domains, including .cc, .condos and .rentals.
But it neglected to pick up at.properties when it became available.
Profile Group, the company that registered at.properties, said it registered it because it was short and AT is the country code for Austria. It has also registered at.business, at.school and at.ventures.
It’s worth noting to those that think that the top level domain should be ignored in a UDRP, that this simply isn’t the case. It has generally been ignored in the past because it has been irrelevant. It’s no longer irrelevant.
Still, the facts in this case led WIPO Panelist W. Scott Blackmer to determine that there was no evidence the domain was registered in bad faith.
“The Panel simply does not find compelling evidence in this proceeding of an intent to create a likelihood of confusion for commercial gain (or of an intent to engage in any other bad faith activity)….
…While the Complaint refers to “national” services, the Complainant’s website indicates that these are focused on the Chicago area and parts of adjacent Midwestern states. The record does not establish that the Complainant’s marks are highly distinctive and widely known, like the TELSTRA and VEUVE CLIQUOT marks in decisions cited by the Complainant, such that good faith reasons for registering the Domain Name cannot be conceived. The Respondent plausibly argues for the generic value of “at” as a short string (whether or not used for specifically Austrian content) and points out that the Respondent registered other domain names consisting of “at” in other new gTLDs not specifically related to the Complainant’s field of activity (such as at.business and at.school) around the same time, supporting its contention that it was not targeting the Complainant’s @PROPERTIES marks.
The record does not support a persuasive inference that the Respondent (not active in the real estate industry) was likely aware of the Complainant and a potentially confusingly similarity with the Complainant’s @PROPERTIES trademarks. The Respondent denies any intent to trade on the Complainant’s reputation, and on the existing record the Panel cannot conclude that the Respondent is likely prevaricating.