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ETH.org : UDRP Complainant loses second UDRP over ETH domain

ZFBot
Domain trademarks aren't always about domain names.

Domain names and trademarks.

It’s two down for ETH Zürich (Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich) of Zurich, Switzerland – a company that alleges use of an “ETH” trademark since 2004.

In April, the Complainant’s UDRP against the owners of ETH.com was denied; the Swiss company had previously managed to win another UDRP for ETHZ.com.

Apparently, that loss did not stop them from attempting to get ETH.org, a domain that is parked but registered in 1998 according to DomainTools.

The Respondent acquired the domain in the secondary market, but denied that he is not using it:

“Respondent asserts that the Domain Name fits within the general business plan of his company, Loftwork. With specific reference to the Domain Name, Respondent claims to be planning the establishment of “several work groups whose theme is ‘sustainability,'” and the letter string e-t-h “evokes the ‘Earth.'” Somewhat relatedly, Respondent adds, Respondent has plans to “work in the form of ‘sustainability + fashion'” and “launch a ‘brand’ whose main image is ‘sustainability.'”

In this connection, Respondent puts into the record some materials concerning a company called Hidakuma, formed by Loftwork in May 2015. According to these materials, Hidakuma, in conjunction with Hida City and a forestry business, plans to launch a business selling wood products and managing hostels and cafés, and plans to use the “sustainability” theme offered by the Domain Name in aid of this venture.”

A three member panel at the WIPO sided with the Respondent:

In sum, the limited evidence put before the Panel is insufficient to establish that Respondent more likely than not had Complainant or its ETH trademark in mind when acquiring the Domain Name, and Respondent’s somewhat vague explanation for its decision to acquire the Domain Name is just plausible enough to avoid a “bad faith” finding here.

The domain ETH.org was thus ordered to remain with the Respondent.

For the full text of this UDRP decision, click here.


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