Chooze.com : 15 year old domain saved from UDRP with a RDNH finding

A registered trademark does not give automatic rights to a domain.

A registered trademark does not give automatic rights to a domain.

Domain investors are increasingly facing challenges over their long-held domain assets.

Quite often, companies entering the market “late” attempt to wrestle these domains away, claiming trademark (ab)use.

In the case of Chooze.com, a domain registered in 2001, the Complainant was Degani Designs LLC. The Respondent had legal representation, as they should.

According to the UDRP filed at the National Arbitration Forum:

“Complainant owns a registered trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) for the mark CHOOZE.  That mark is used in connection with Complainant’s offering of vegan clothing apparel. “

The owner of Chooze.com asked for $70,000 dollars, an amount that the Complainant considered to be “exorbitant.”

Not so fast, said the Respondent, who stated that “chooze” is as generic as the common word “choose”. They also brought up two facts:

  • The Complainant contacted the Respondent, not the other way around, and
  • Complainant should be barred by the doctrine of laches from sustaining the Complaint  as Complainant has waited about fifteen years from registration of the disputed domain name to make this filing.

As the trademark for CHOOZE was registered by the Complainant in 2012, their request for a domain transferred was denied by the sole panelist.

Not only that.

Dennis A. Foster, panelist, found that the Complaint was brought in bad faith in an attempt at reverse domain name hijacking.

For the full text of the UDRP on the domain Chooze.com, click here.


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