Dr. Mann : WearTech.com pioneer fends off UDRP by The Lincoln Electric Company

UDRP has been denied.

Dr. Mann is the principal of EXISTech Corp., and an inventor of wearable computing products, who sold the first wearable computer in 1974. Dr. Mann has used the trade name and mark “WEARTECH” since at least as early as that year.

A UDRP against the domain WearTech.com, registered in 1996 by Dr. Mann, challenged its ownership.

The Complainant is The Lincoln Electric Company, a manufacturer of welding, cutting, and joining products. Complainant has associated with its products and services the WEARTECH mark and has registered the mark at the United States Patent and Trademark Office since 2013.

The panelist at the National Arbitration Forum found the Respondent did not violate any of the policies:

“The Panel further finds that Respondent has not registered or used <weartech.com> in bad faith as it has not been shown that Respondent violated any of the factors listed in Policy ¶ 4(b) or engaged in any other conduct that would constitute bad faith registration and use pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(a)(iii). The evidence does not show that Respondent has tried to sell the domain name, nor that Respondent has registered the domain name to prevent Complainant from reflecting its mark in a domain name, nor that Respondent’s business has connection or association with Complainant’s business or welding electrodes, and Respondent has never attempted to attract for commercial gain Internet users to Respondent’s website or other online location by creating confusion. I

Respondent also argues that it could not have registered the disputed domain name in bad faith because its registration of <weartech.com> predates Complainant’s rights in the WEARTECH mark.  The Panel again notes that Respondent registered <weartech.com> in 1996.  As such, the Panel finds that Respondent’s registration of <weartech.com> predates any rights Complainant has in the WEARTECH mark and that Complainant could not have satisfied Policy.”

Although the Respondent has sought a finding of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking in this case, the panelist, Calvin A. Hamilton, declined to deliver such a finding.

He did, however, deny the Complainant’s request for a domain transfer and the case was thus dismissed.

For the full text of the UDRP decision on WearTech.com, click here.

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