Complainant didn’t disclose licensing relationship with domain name owner.
A World Intellectual Property Organization panelist has found that Green Globe Limited engaged in reverse domain name hijacking in a dispute it brought against the domain name GreenGlobe.com.
The domain name owner entered into a licensing agreement with Green Globe Limited to use the Green Globe marks. Despite this, Green Globe Limited stated in its complaint that the Respondent was not a licensee of the Complainant’s trademarks.
That’s boilerplate language in many complaints. But in this case, it was inaccurate.
Panelist Adam Taylor wrote:
…in the amended version of its Complaint, the Complainant proceeded as if the disputed domain name was being operated by an entirely independent entity that had allegedly registered and used the disputed domain name to illicitly target the Complainant’s rights. Indeed, on the face of it and without the context of the Licence, the Respondent’s conduct seemed particularly egregious as the website included a reproduction of the Complainant’s logo. If the Respondent had not filed a Response, the Panel would be considering a very different case. The Response has proved essential in revealing the real nature of this dispute.
SoCal IP Law Group LLP represented the Complainant. The Law Office of Catherine Anne Allen represented the Respondent.