World Intellectual Property Organization published three reverse domain name hijacking decisions today.
When it rains, it pours, and today that means we have three reverse domain name hijacking (RDNH) cases to report.
The third case is for WWTM.org.
Maharishi Foundation USA, Inc is the guilty party in this case. It has a U.S. trademark for TM, which is short for its Transcendental Meditation technique. It uses the domain TM.org.
Working With The Mind, a community interest company in the UK, uses WWTM.org for its site. The organization helps people with mindfulness, including mindfulness programs for prisons and people impacted by COVID-19.
One of the Complainant’s arguments was that WWTM.org is a typo of WWW.TM.org, but the panelist didn’t buy that.
World Intellectual Property Organization panelist John Swinson took issue with how Maharishi Foundation USA, Inc presented its case.
In finding RDNH, called attention to this statement by Maharishi Foundation:
“Clearly, Respondent selected and used the Disputed Domain Name solely to attract consumers to its website by trading on the fame of the TM trademark; such use can not confer any proprietary rights in Complainant’s trademark to the Respondent.
Furthermore, nothing on the Respondent’s website suggests any proper use of the TM acronym or a good faith basis for adopting the WWTM name. Respondent does not state anywhere on his sites what TM, alone, or in combination with WWTM means.”
Based on the evidence presented in the Complaint, it is certainly not clear to the Panel that the Respondent selected the disputed domain name solely to trade on the fame of the TM trademark.
Further, it is clear to the Panel that, even on a cursory review of the Respondent’s website, the disputed name is an acronym for “Working With The Mind”. The Respondent’s website uses the name “Working With The Mind” in many places, including in the title. Prior to filing the Complainant, the Complainant and the Respondent communicated by email. The Respondent in this correspondence stated to the Complainant’s attorney: “You and the Foundation you represent can read more about WWTM on our website at wwtm.org.” The Complainant had no reasonable basis to assert in the Complaint that nothing on the Respondent’s website suggests any proper use for adopting the WWTM name.
The Complainant was legally represented. The Complainant promotes techniques to improve calmness, clarity of mind and happiness. The Respondent is a small social enterprise with limited funds and is self-represented, and it is reasonable for the Panel to conclude that the Complainant was aware of this before filing the Complainant.
Shuttleworth & Ingersoll P.L.C. represented the Complainant. The Respondent represented himself.