Despite an ongoing emissions scandal involving German automaker Volkswagen, a trademark is still a trademark.
In a UDRP filed against the owner of the domain name Volkswagen.XYZ, the Respondent was a Minnesota car dealer.
Still, such relationships do not justify going after a domain that clearly constitutes a trademark infringement – unless there is an explicit agreement in place.
In the case of Volkswagen.XYZ there was none:
“The Respondent purposefully created a domain name consisting of the Complainant’s famous mark and has registered it to create the misleading impression of being somehow associated with the Complainant when this is not the case. The Respondent is trying to exploit the fame of the Complainant’s trade marks to attract to the Respondent’s web site Internet users looking for information on the Complainant and divert them from legitimate web sites of the Complainant. The Respondent has no legitimate reason for registering the Complainant’s trade mark as a domain name. Given the fame of the Complainant’s marks the Respondent must have known of the Complainant’s rights at point of registration of the Domain Name.”
It didn’t take long for the sole panelist to order that Volkswagen.XYZ should be transferred to the Complainant. Another recent UDRP involved the domain Volkswagen.company.
For the full text of this UDRP, click here.
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