6 June 2016

Nike scores cybersquatting victory

Sportswear brand Nike has scored a victory at the US-based Alternative Dispute Resolution Forum.

The forum has ruled that a domain name containing the registered trademark ‘Nike’ should be handed over to the multinational.

The domain, was registered in February 1999; 25 years after Nike registered its ‘Nike’ trademark at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

Nike submitted its complaint on April 28, 2016. The delay between the domain registration and Nike filing its complaint was not explained.

In a  decision handed down on June 1, Neil Brown, the panellist presiding over the case, ruled that Nike satisfied all three elements under ICANN’s Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy.

In order for a domain to be transferred, a party has to prove that the address is confusingly similar to an existing trademark, that the registrant lacks a legitimate interest in the name and that it was registered in bad faith.

Sune Stilling, the individual who registered the domain name, failed to respond to Nike’s complaint and the domain was transferred to the company.

Nike alleged that the respondent had no rights or interests in the domain and wasn’t offering bona fide goods or services because the domain led to an “inactive website displaying an error message.”

Brown found that Nike had presented a prima facie case and that the respondent had no rights or legitimate interests in the mark and that it was being used in bad faith.

This story was first published on  Trademarks & Brands Online.

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