Would you confuse Traveltrow with Trivago?
Travel company Trivago (NASDAQ: TRVG) has lost a cybersquatting case in which the panelist said it was “not really a close call.”
Trivago filed the complaint against the owner of Traveltrow.com, arguing that Traveltrow was confusingly similar to Trivago.
That’s not a typo: Trivago vs. Traveltrow.
Here’s how Trivago tried to convince the World Intellectual Property Organization panelist:
Complainant argues, first and foremost, that the TRIVAGO mark and the Domain Name both have three syllables (one disregards the “.com” generic Top-Level Domain). Complainant then notes that the last syllable of the Domain Name (“trow”), rhymes with the last syllable of the mark (“go”). Complainant notes that the first syllable of the mark and the Domain Name begins with the letters “tr,” and that the second syllable of both begins with the letter “v.”
Panelist Robert Badgley wasn’t buying it.
It appears that the owner of Traveltrow.com might be infringing on Trivago’s trademark rights with content hosted at the domain name. But Badgley notes that is beyond the scope of UDRP:
It may well be that Complainant has a valid trademark infringement or unfair competition cause of action against Respondent in a court of law. The UDRP, however, is focused on abusive domain name registration and use, not more generally with infringing conduct across the Internet. As such, if a domain name is not confusingly similar to the complainant’s trademark, the case is over, regardless of whether the respondent is a bad actor.