Company fails to upgrade domain name to Approve.com through UDRP.
A World Intellectual Property Organization panelist has denied Approve Me, LLC’s attempt to get Approve.com through a cybersquatting claim.
Approve Me, LLC offers eSignature services via a WordPress plugin. It uses the domain name ApproveMe.com to market its plugin.
Tipalti acquired Approve.com through a company acquisition and now uses it for its procurement workflow tool.
Approve Me argues that the companies offer similar solutions. While that’s difficult to see from their respective websites, this is clearly not a case of cybersquatting under UDRP. If anything, it’s a trademark dispute. Panelist Christopher Gibson notes this in his decision:
The Panel determines that, apart from its finding of no bad faith registration of the Domain Name, these issues effectively involve alleged infringement of Complainant’s registered trademarks and the relevance of Respondent’s rights in its own registered trademarks and as such would be better settled in a court, where a complete record and detailed arguments under United States federal trademark law can be considered.
It’s worth noting that Tiplati has a U.S. trademark for Approve.com.
Gibson does not appear to have considered if this is a case of reverse domain name hijacking.
Solace Law represented the Complainant. Antoinette M. Tease, P.L.L.C. represented the domain name owner.