BODIS

Chinese registrant of .CLUB domains attempts to rationalize Cybersquatting in UDRP

Directnic

The Chinese registrant of dot .CLUB domains that match famous trademarks or corporate names, attempted to define alternate meanings, using the Chinese language.

That very “clever” approach of an apparent cybersquatter was presented in a UDRP for the domain names Stregis.Club, Westin.Club and WHotels.Club.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., Sheraton International IP, LLC, Westin Hotel Management, L.P of Stamford, Connecticut, was the Complainant in this case, filing the UDRP with the WIPO.

Jingjing Tang of Beijing, China, registrant of these domains and a Respondent in the case, attempted to disseminate these established corporate trademarks by making use of the myriad meanings of the Chinese language:

(a) <whotels.club>

– The letter “W” is one phonetic symbol of Chinese word “我” (Wǒ ), and the word “Hotels” is a very normal noun, one of them “hotels.com” is very famous in the USA.

– <whotels.club> is a common personal Blog, it is used for recording literature,sensibility and lifte (sic). Therefore we can consider easily that <Whotels.club> means “my personal hotel”.  Actually this web is setting up right now.

(b) <westin.club>

– “West+In” special means “in Chinese western”, “West is a normal noun, I”In”mean “在”,

– Many websites contain word “West”, such as <cnwest.com> (Chinese western web), and the owner of this web is in Shangxi Province, China. It is an official web. The website resolved by <westin.club> is now among the construction.

(c) <stregis.club>

– “Stregis”mean “Stre+GIS”. “Stre”is the abbreviation for “stress”, GIS is the abbreviation for “Geographic Information System”.

– This web is just a club for geographic information.

Respondent does not intend to infringe trademarks deliberately, which are owned by other person or group.

Respondent did not register Email mala fide (sic). Litigation agent can search the domains which were registered by the email “xfblog@gmail.com” because this email is a public email.

Respondent has many customers that register domain name in her company and use the same mode, including this email. Respondent is not malicious to register the three disputed domain names; It is not malicious use of these domain names, and there is no harm to Complainant’s brand; What Respondent is doing is not for commercial purposes. The ‘club’ domain name itself is a circle and platform for who has a common interest.

Very colorful – and very silly explanation. We wonder what Xerox means in Chinese.

In fact, the sole panelist and apparently a native speaker of the Chinese language, Yijun Tian, found the Respondent’s allegations of fair use as “wholly unconvincing” and thus ordered the transfer of these domains to the Complainant.

For the full UDRP text, click here.

 


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