This UDRP should have never been filed.
OSRAM GmbH, a German lighting company, has lost a UDRP against a Vietnam-based cloud services consultancy. Even though the Respondent didn’t reply to the dispute, this seems like a clear cut case of reverse domain name hijacking.
The lighting company filed the dispute against OSAM.cloud. The domain name is one letter off from its trademark, and this could be a case of cybersquatting under very different circumstances.
OSAM.cloud forwards to OSAM.io, the website for a cloud consulting company in Vietnam. It clearly uses the domain name for a real business.
The lighting company offers some cloud services and connected services, hence its argument for cybersquatting. But its complaint is way off the mark.
Respondent’s choice of the disputed domain name, which is identical to the well-known Complainant’s registered trademark ‘OSRAM’, clearly indicates bad faith intent to register and use of the disputed domain name. Apart from the above, the Respondent has not attempted to make any bona fide use of the disputed domain name. […] It is obvious that the Complainant’s famous trademark is being used in order to attract potential buyers to the website to which the disputed domain name resolves. Here, the Respondent practically using the Complainant’s trademark color and stylization knows about the worldwide well-known Complainant’s trademarks ‘OSRAM’.”
To suggest that the Respondent is using the domain to confuse OSRAM customers strains credulity.
In denying OSRAM’s case, panelist Scott Blackmer wrote:
As noted in the factual discussion above, the Respondent’s website reflects a registered and fully functioning consultancy business operating since 2017 with a website at “www.osam.io”. The Domain Name is a relevant addition to the Respondent’s domain name portfolio, as its gTLD “.cloud” is pertinent to the cloud services business in which the Respondent is engaged. The Respondent advertises consulting to assist clients in using AWS-hosted cloud services, and the Respondent is indeed listed as a partner by AWS since 2017. The Respondent appears in multiple media articles and directories, consistent with the story told on the Respondent’s website. On the face of it, there is nothing on the Respondent’s website that mentions the Complainant or competes with its business. There is simply an unrelated business with a name that differs from the Complainant’s mark by one letter. On this record, the Panel does not find persuasive evidence to support the Complainant’s inference that the Respondent chose the name of its business and the corresponding Domain Name in an attempt to misdirect Internet users for commercial gain.
OSRAM also argued that the logo on OSAM’s website was similar. The panelist (rightfully) noted that this is not the case.
Blackmer deserves kudos for doing his simple research of the Respondent in light of no response. I think he should have gone a step further and found reverse domain name hijacking.