UDRP cases can be a fun read, as in the case of AxaThemes.com, a domain that was challenged via the UDRP process at the WIPO.
The Complainant is AXA SA, a French insurance company that has a stake in the AXA mark, going as far back as 1817. That’s just two years after Napoleon Bonaparte‘s defeat at Waterloo!
AXA France also own the mark AXA THEMA, which is definitely close to the domain in question.
The Registrant of AxaThemes.com claimed it was registered as a repository of creative designs, same as other such design theme venues, for example Theme Forest.
Once AXA SA sent a cease and desist letter to the Romanian Respondent, he sought to be compensated with $50,000 dollars, and sent them this email:
“I am saying again: I don’t see anything neither wrong nor illegal in here. How can you know that it refers AXA THEMES, maybe it’s AXAT HEMES or AXATH EMES.
I don’t think that you have any right to enforce people who have domain that includes AXA in it. Even if you have, you can pay me $50.000 as a transfer fee. Although you should have thought and bought all the domain names include AXA in the first place if you really care about your trademark rather than enforcing people afterwards.”
After the Complainant filed the UDRP, the Respondent shared his frustration in the open, stating:
“What do you want from me people? I already removed all the files from that domain and it’s empty. What else do you want me to do???”
And he continued with a tirade of sorts:
“I can give you so many examples that are using AXA word in their domain names. What have you done for them so far? They are still out there. And what’s the logic behind forcing me to do things on behalf of trademark infringement? I have done nothing wrong! AXA insurance is a whole different thing, Axathemes is another. It’s just an unofficial name (like a nickname) for an online marketplace for freelancer from all over the world.
I am neither trying to get benefits of name from AXA insurance nor it was my main purpose. Axa word means Axis in my language and I have never thought about Axa insurance!
I am telling you again. I already deleted the files from that domain name. It’s empty! What else do you want from me?
– If the domain name that I own is that much important for AXA, why they haven’t bought it at the first place?
– How come they can blame me just because I bought a domain name which they have never thought about?
– How come they can enforce me to transfer the name for free that I have already paid considering the fact that they have done nothing to the others who have axa word in their domain?
– Who is going to compensate my lose?
– Why you have done nothing to the other domain names that contains axa word in it? It’s just a matter of making regular people uncomfortable? Especially considering the fact that I bought that domain name for only one year and there is only four months left.”
The end result: David J.A. Cairns, sole panelist, ordered the domain AxaThemes.com to be transferred to the Complainant.
For the full text of this UDRP decision, click here.
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