Chinese Cybersquatter plays the “great firewall” card in massive Facebook UDRP

The new Instagram logo.

Instagram won a UDRP for many typo domains.

By violating a famous brand’s trademarks, one has to be extremely creative in defending their deed.

In the case of a Chinese domain registrant who registered a bunch of Instagram domain typos, the argument was rather weak.

Facebook and its daughter company, Instagram, filed a UDRP at the WIPO, for the following domains:

While the first Respondent, identified as Xiamen eName Network Co., Ltd of Xiamen, Fujian, China did not provide a response, the second Respondent – weiwei of Beijing, China – challenged the validity of the UDRP.

In a nutshell, the 2nd Respondent alleged that Facebook and Instagram are not accessible in China due to the so-called “Great Firewall” and thus no infringement took place, as they are, allegedly, little known companies.

Adding to its incredulous defense, the 2nd Respondent claimed that China’s laws require the registration of a company in China, and Facebook and Instagram have not done so. Lastly, they claimed that they use the domains “for business purposes.”

Naturally, all this crock of freshly dumped manure did not fare well with the panelist:

“The websites under the disputed domain names are accessible worldwide and for the most part are in English. The Respondents are clearly seeking to attract Internet users around the world to their websites under the disputed domain names. Therefore, whether the Complainants’ websites can be accessed in China or not is irrelevant.”

Great response, Mr. Douglas Clark!

The domains listed above were thus ordered to be transferred to Facebook and Instagram. For the full text of this UDRP decision, click here.

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