Winklevoss Technologies LLC filed a UDRP against the domain WinTech.com, which was registered in 1999.
According to the UDRP at the National Arbitration Forum, the Complainant has rights to the WINTECH mark based upon multiple registrations with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) (e.g. Reg. No. 2,145,935, registered Mar. 24, 1998).
The Respondent was represented by Ari Goldberger of ESQwire.com :
“Respondent contends the disputed domain name should not be considered to be identical to Complainant’s mark, as it consists of a descriptive combination of “win,” for (Microsoft) Windows, and “tech” for technology. The word “win” may also have a meaning derived from the English verb “win.” Respondent also points to extensive third-party use of the term WINTECH that is completely unrelated to Complainant as further evidence of the common descriptive nature of the term.
Respondent does have a legitimate interest in the disputed domain name. Respondent is a registrant of many common word domains and purchased <wintech.com> due to its inherent value as a descriptive term. Respondent’s business of investing in domain names amounts to a legitimate interest as Respondent did not target Complainant or its marks in registering the disputed domain name.
Respondent also did not register or use <wintech.com> in bad faith. Since the disputed domain name consists of common words and Respondent had no knowledge of Complainant prior to receiving its cease and desist letter, it is clear Respondent did not target Complainant.
Additionally, Respondent claims that the delay of seventeen years from its registration of the disputed domain name to the initiation of this proceeding has prejudiced Respondent and bars the Complaint under the doctrine of laches. Further, Complainant has abused this administrative proceeding when it filed this claim and a finding of reverse domain name hijacking should be awarded against Complainant.”
A three member panel, consisting of Jaime Delgado, Neil Anthony Brown and Michael A. Albert found no evidence of registration in bad faith or use in bad faith. With that in mind, there was no consideration of whether the doctrine of laches should apply.
Despite the Respondent’s request, no finding of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking was delivered, but the domain was ordered to remain with the Respondent.
Note : ESQwire.com is a premium sponsor of DomainGang.com; this report was acquired directly from NAF and does not constitute a promotional article.
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