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NewForests.com : Geo domain used in marketing salvaged from UDRP

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RDNHExecutive summary: The UDRP against the aged, generic domain, NewForests.com was denied, with a finding of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking as well.

A three member panel at the WIPO delivered their decision, after hearing out the Complainant’s claims.

New Forests Asset Management Pty Limited of North Sydney, Australia, asserted they held a trademark on ‘NEW FORESTS’ – but these marks were applied for in 2015. The Complainant operates from newforests.com.au, the Australian ccTLD.

Meanwhile, NewForests.com was registered by the Respondent on January 28, 1999, according to DomainTools.

According to the UDRP:

“The Respondent states that it has since 1999 provided Internet advertising, web site construction and hosting, media and advertising, domain name leasing, and related services to its costumers. With specific reference to its advertising services, the Respondent asserts that users may purchase advertisements to be placed on one or more of the Respondent’s network of web sites, based upon relevance of a particular client’s goods or services.

The Respondent claims that, as part of its business, it owns a number of domain names that incorporate descriptive or generic words, and that it has no intent to infringe or trade upon any third party trademark rights.

The Respondent contends that the disputed domain name consists primarily of the term “New Forests” which commonly refers to a breed of horse or pony, and alleges that the disputed domain name is one of the several horse-related domain names that have been owned for many years by the Respondent, that are being used to sell advertising on the correspondent horse-related web sites.”

Not only did the WIPO panel find that the Complainant has failed to demonstrate that the disputed domain name was registered and used by the Respondent in bad faith, they also delivered a finding of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking:

“Furthermore, there is no indication, also in the pre-complaint correspondence exchanged between the Parties, that the Respondent might have expressly intended to target the Complainant’s trademark, and it appears that the Complaint was filed in an attempt to obtain the transfer of the disputed domain name from the Panel after the Complainant’s negotiations with the Respondent were unsuccessful.”

For the full text of the UDRP decision for NewForests.com, click here.

 


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