Company goes after rival’s “conquest” domain names.
DealerX Partners, LLC, a company that helps automobile dealers market to consumers, has been found to have engaged in reverse domain name hijacking over the domain names ConquestAutomotive.com, Conquest.email and Conquest.marketing.
In the car industry “conquest” is a term used to refer to winning over a customer that drives a competitor’s car. You will often see promotions on car websites that include “conquest cash” or something similar in which the manufacturer offers discounts when a buyer owns or leases a competitive vehicle.
The domain owner uses the .com domain to market its auto advertising services.
DealerX apparently offers services under the Conquest name. But it failed to mention to the panel that the term is common in the industry. It also didn’t mention ongoing legal proceedings with another party to cancel DealerX’s Conquest Service mark. In finding reverse domain name hijacking, the panel noted “we have a prime example of material evidence omitted from the Complaint”. The panel also noted:
The Complaint also alleges, without evidence, that its mark has acquired renown. Complainant’s essential argument is that Respondent cannot possibly have a legitimate interest in the Domain Names because: Complainant holds a registered mark, and any use of “conquest” in the automotive software field is trademark infringement and per se illegitimate. This position has been roundly rejected by the Panel in this case, based in part on the fact (also undisclosed in the Complaint) that the word “conquest” has a special meaning within the argot of automotive marketing.
DealerX was represented by Phillips Ryther & Winchester. The domain owner was internally represented.