National Hockey League wins cybersquatting dispute against the domain NHL.cc.
The National Hockey League has won a cybersquatting case it brought against the owner of NHL.cc. .CC is the country code for Cocos Islands but is generally used as a generic domain extension.
A Chinese man who registered the domain claimed he hadn’t heard of the NHL when he registered the domain. He noted that it’s too hot to play ice hockey in Zhengzhou, China and that most people in China didn’t become aware of the sport until 2015 when Beijing was selected to host the 2022 Olympic games.
Whether or not this is true, the domain owner didn’t help his case by explicitly calling out that NHL stands for National Hockey League on his website (see image above).
The text roughly translated to “The National Hockey League is a shorthand NHL (French: Ligue Nationale de Hockey), a shorthand LNH, a professional sports league composed of North American ice hockey teams.”
The NHL first tried to buy the domain name. It cleverly refers to its overture to buy the domain as being undertaken by an “investigator”. It did not identify itself when it tried to acquire the domain. The NHL raised its offer to $6,000 but the domain owner’s last offer was $18,000.
I’m not sure that the panel got this case right and the fact that the NHL first tried to buy the domain could have been used as a defense. But once the domain owner added the National Hockey League reference to the site, he put himself in the corner needing to defend himself.
I bet the domain owner is kicking himself now for not accepting the $6,000 offer.