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Bigotti.com UDRP : Generic word investing a legitimate business, says panelist

UDRP has been denied.

The UDRP against the domain Bigotti.com, failed at the WIPO.

Registered in 2003 by an Italian domain investor, the domain is a dictionary word in Italian, meaning “bigots.”

A company from Romania, Graftex Prodcom SRL and Graffitti – 94 R.B.I. Prodcom S.R.L. filed the UDRP on the basis of trademarks from 2001 and 2003.

The Romanian trademarks, BIGOTTI and ARTIGIANI BIGOTTI were the basis of this UDRP.

The Complainants tried to point out the UDRP past of the Respondent as a sign of cybersquatting, with more than 60 prior cases:

“The Complainants allege that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, and points out that the Respondent is the owner of over 17,000 domain names, and alleges that the Respondent can hardly be expected to legitimately use all of these domain names in commerce. The Complainants also allege that, so far as they have been able to establish, there is no connection between the Respondent and the name BIGOTTI.”

The Respondent states that it is in the business of registering domain names incorporating generic words, for onward sale, and has pointed out to the Panel a number of prior cases under the UDRP, in which this has been regarded as a legitimate commercial activity.

The sole panelist, George R. F. Souter, found the following:

“The Panel agrees with the panels in the prior cases cited above, and considers the business of registering domain names including dictionary words to be, in itself, a legitimate commercial activity. It is readily apparent that a dictionary word in one language may function as a protectable trademark in another language, and examples of this are legion. The Panel also considers it unsurprising that a practice of registering domain names with dictionary words can, unwittingly, lead to disputes with the owners of these words as protectable trademarks.

Although the Complainants have satisfied the Panel that they have trademark rights in their BIGOTTI trademark, they have not submitted any evidence to substantiate the fame of such mark, either in Romania or in Italy, where the Respondent is located.”

The decision was made for the Respondent to keep the domain, Bigotti.com; read the full text of this UDRP.

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