A WIPO panelist draws important distinctions in deciding a case for YouLoveFruit.com.
A National Arbitration Forum panelist has denied a cybersquatting dispute against the domain name YouLoveFruit.com. Panelist Nicholas Smith made several key distinctions that other panelists should pay attention to.
The Complainant You Love Fruit Inc. is a New York company that sells dried produce products under the names You Love Fruit and You Love Veggies. It uses the domain name YouLoveFruitLeather.com.
First, Smith noted that the domain name is made up of three generic words — you, love, fruit. While the Complainant has a trademark, it’s only for fruit leathers. Smith pointed out that the Complaint did not show evidence that the mark was so well-known and ubiquitous that he could conclude, for that reason alone, that the domain owner registered the domain for that reason.
Second, Smith understood something about GoDaddy’s parked domain pages. The Complainant argued that the domain owner registered the domain to sell it because it is being offered for sale by GoDaddy. Smith noted that the parked page is GoDaddy’s standard holding page that includes a link to “Get this Domain.” This is something GoDaddy puts on all parking pages that lets people use GoDaddy’s domain buy service. Smith correctly stated that it’s not indicative that the domain owner is selling the domain.
Finally, Smith points out that UDRP was designed only for limited circumstances:
The Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy, is designed to deal with clear cases of cybersquatting, see IAFT International LLC v. MANAGING DIRECTOR / EUTOPIAN HOLDINGS, FA 1577032 (Forum Oct. 9, 2014) (“The objectives of the Policy are limited — designed to obviate the need for time-consuming and costly litigation in relatively clear cases of cyber-squatting — and not intended to thwart every sort of questionable business practice imaginable. ”). In the present case Respondent has registered a domain name consisting of 3 descriptive words that happens to correspond with YOU LOVE FRUIT mark and redirected the domain name to a parking page operated by the Registrar. Absent any evidence of fame of the YOU LOVE FRUIT mark or any other evidence that Respondent has engaged in bad faith conduct, those facts are not sufficient to establish bad faith under the Policy.
There is something else a bit interesting about this case. The domain owner didn’t respond, but historical Whois records show that the domain owner registered the domain before the Complainant filed its intent to use trademark application for You Love Fruit. But only by a few months. Both the Complainant and Respondent are in New York. This could be a coincidence, and the Complainant makes no mention of any relationship between the parties in its filing (at least, that is included in the published decision).