Panel didn’t buy the Complainant’s common law trademark argument.
A UDRP panel has ruled that online fundraising platform Snap! Mobile attempted reverse domain name hijacking.
The company, which uses the domain SnapRaise.com, filed a UDRP against SnapMobile.com. The domain is owned by domain investor WebWorks, which said it acquired the domain in 2016.
Snap! Mobile said it was founded in 2014 and that it has common law rights to Snap! Mobile. However, all of the evidence of its popularity that it submitted to the panel is more recent. (Both of the domains I can find for the company, SnapRaise.com and OnSnap.com, were acquired by the company within the past few years.) The panel wrote:
Here, although Complainant has provided a number of articles, business profiles, press releases and social media posts, as well as a certificate of liability insurance, all referring to “Snap! Mobile,” “Snap Mobile” or “Snap Mobile LLC,” these documents do not sufficiently establish common law trademark rights. Although Complainant states that it was founded in 2014, the documents that it provided do not show usage of the SNAP MOBILE trademark that might qualify as trademark usage until much more recently. (Those documents showing use of the SNAP MOBILE name as Complainant’s corporate name are irrelevant here because “proof of mere registration of the company, without more, is not enough to demonstrate that the Respondent was commonly known by the domain name.” Royal Bank of Canada v. RBC Bank, WIPO Case No. D2002-0672.) Further, although Complainant has provided some information about the scope and size of its business, it is unclear whether this business is associated with the alleged SNAP MOBILE name or with something else, such as what Complainant has called “its first product — Snap! Raise.” Finally, although not required, Complainant has provided no evidence of the degree of actual public recognition of the alleged SNAP MOBILE name or consumer surveys.
The panel determined that the Complainant didn’t prove any of the three elements required in a UDRP and that the complaint was brought in bad faith as an attempt at reverse domain name hijacking.
Lowe Graham Jones PLLC represented the domain name owner, and the Respondent appears to have been self-represented.