Halifax.com : 20 year old geo-domain hit with UDRP

The domain name Halifax.com has been hit with a UDRP, filed at the WIPO by the Bank of Scotland Plc.

One would expect that a geo-domain about the city of Halifax, in the Nova Scotia of Canada, would be immune from such an attempt to wrestle away a 20 year old domain.

Halifax images in Google search.

Halifax images in Google search.

Registered in 1995, Halifax.com is not the only domain listed in the UDRP, which is currently in pending mode. HalifaxCarFinance.com and HalifaxLiving.org are also includednin the filing; they both forward to Halifax.com.

The Bank of Scotland Plc. owns the HALIFAX mark for banking services, and operates from Halifax.co.uk; in fact, when searching for Halifax in Google, the Bank’s web site comes up as the top result.

Halifax.com has been listed on and off for sale, or was parked with a prompt to inquire about its availability. In August of this year, it appeared to have been developed, stating the following:

“Halifax.com is the OFFICIAL business directory, city directory, real estate listing service, classified ad source, event finder, and deal finder for Halifax, Nova Scotia!”

However, in September 2015 the domain appears to have changed ownership, from a Canada based address to one in the UK.

In recent days, a UDRP was filed against the domain name, Milano.com, raising concerns about the far-reaching incentives of Complainants against generic, geographical domain names.

 

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Comments

3 Responses to “Halifax.com : 20 year old geo-domain hit with UDRP”
  1. spencer says:

    This UDRP has gotta be a real scary bummer for the new owner. The fact that the new owner is from the UK is not per se dispositive that there was intent to capitalize off the Halifax trademark but it looks bad. Also that there is such a central effort to operate in the same goods & services doesn’t help either. Hope the new owner gets a good lawyer as they are going to need it.

  2. Mike says:

    Just to clarify, Google results for Halifax vary depending on location. I don’t see anything about the bank unless I search Halifax UK and then I also have on the first page results for the town of Halifax in England.

  3. Andrea Paladini says:

    DG,
    The current owner of Halifax.com, based in Cardiff, UK, has built on it a Financial Services Business Listings, a sort of Guide to Financial Services, and that clearly shows bad faith in use, since “Halifax” is a TM in UK for that product class (Nice class 36) …
    As of today, on the homepage you can read “We are Halifax.com the official financial services directory for the UK” …
    That’s a really bad mistake, a masochistic way of managing this generic geo-domain … it’s like asking to be sued … lol 😀
    IMHO Bank of Scotland will get it in the UDRP, or in a lawsuit where they don’t have also to prove bad faith in registration …
    Ironically, on their homepage you can also read “our website works as a powerful tool for attracting more leads!” … it was actually a powerful tool to attract legal troubles … 😀

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