7 March 2016

WhatsApp wins in URS dispute

Instant messaging service WhatsApp has successfully suspended multiple domain names registered by a Brazilian-based company.

The company was successful in a Uniform Rapid Suspension System (URS) dispute surrounding 16 WhatsApp domain names. The ruling can be  viewed in full here.

The domains included whatsapp.attorney, whatsapp.blue, and whatsapp.computer.

WhatsApp claimed in the dispute that Laticinios Itaruma was using its registered trademarks without authorisation and was not making legitimate non-commercial or fair use of the domain names since they don’t lead to active websites.

URS examiner Hector Ariel Manoff determined that Laticinios Itaruma, the respondent, registered the domain names in bad faith and despite receiving a notification that the domain names matched a trademark registered at the Trademark Clearinghouse.

He added that the respondent registered the domain names to prevent WhatsApp from reflecting its trademark in a domain name, and that the ‘WhatsApp’ trademark is known worldwide.

The 16 domain names were ordered to be suspended for the duration of their registration period.

This article was first published on  Trademarks and Brands Online.

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