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One party UDRP : Alienware or NVIDIA – who gets the domain?

Alienware or Nvidia - Who gets the domain?

Alienware or Nvidia – Who gets the domain?

An interesting situation surrounds the UDRP against the domain alienware-nvidia.xyz that was dealt with at the National Arbitration Forum.

Alienware is a computer brand owned by Dell Inc., while NVIDIA is a cutting edge computer hardware manufacturer, including popular video cards.

The domain’s registration contains two marks, each managed by their respective owners. However, only one filed the UDRP, so who gets the domain?

In this case, Dell, Inc. was the Complainant, and they asked for the domain to be transferred.

Would it have been better to ask for its deletion?

Charles K. McCotter, Jr. (Ret.), Panelist, raised an interesting point, while refusing to hand the domain over and away from its Romanian registrant:

There are two trademarks at issue in the instant case: ALIENWARE and NVIDIA.  However, Nvidia Corp. has not been joined as a party, and thus has not provided any information asserting rights in the NVIDIA mark in this proceeding. In its Complaint, Complainant alleges that “Nvidia” is “the name of a technology company that designs graphics processing units for Dell and other computer companies.”

The Forum’s Supplemental Rule 1(e) defines “The Party Initiating a Complaint Concerning a Domain Name Registration” as a “single person or entity claiming to have rights in the domain name, or multiple persons or entities who have a sufficient nexus who can each claim to have rights to all domain names listed in the Complaint.”

Nvidia Corp. has not been joined as a Complainant in this matter and there is no nexus available through which Complainant can claim to have rights to the transfer of the <alienware-nvidia.xyz> domain name.

The UDRP case references the recent case of NikeGoogle.com, which was also denied on the same basis.

Moral of the story: composite trademark violations might require the joint effort of all parties, whose trademarks were violated.

For the full text of the UDRP against the domain alienware-nvidia.xyz, click here.

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