WIPO panel rules in favor of domain investor.
Domain name investor Gregg Ostrick and his company GNO Inc have successfully defended another domain name in a UDRP.
Swiss company Unilabs SA filed a UDRP against his domain name BioCheckup.com.
While the company does have trademarks that include Biocheck Up in them, these are figurative marks and the Biocheck Up portion of them is limited, especially in the registrations that pre-date the 2006 domain registration.
The three-person WIPO panel found that Unilabs did not show that Ostrick lacked rights or legitimate interests in the domain, nor that the domain was registered in bad faith.
On the issue of rights or legitimate interests, the panel determined:
- “the disputed domain name is descriptive in nature and comprised of the dictionary terms”
- “A registrant may also legitimately use such a domain name for the purpose of a revenue generating pay-per-click website corresponding with the descriptive nature of the domain name”
- “at the date of registration of the disputed domain name in 2006, the Complainant was the owner only of the trademarks that had been registered in 2003 in a limited number of territories, not including the United States”
- “the Panel is not persuaded that the descriptive term “biocheckup” can only have referred to the Complainant’s trademarks at that time, or that the Respondent knew or ought to have known of the Complainant’s trademark rights.”
The panel also commented on the issue of offering a domain for sale under the Registration and Use in Bad Faith section:
As to the fact that the disputed domain name was offered for sale, the mere fact of offering a descriptive domain name for sale is not of itself indicative of bad faith and the Panel finds no evidence that the Respondent intended to solicit a sale of the disputed domain name specifically to the Complainant or to a competitor of the Complainant.
Unilabs was represented by Ports Group AB. Ostrick was represented by John Berryhill.