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Paul Flammea beats CKL Holdings N.V. in UDRP over Flammea.com

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Flammea.com UDRP was denied.

Flammea.com UDRP was denied.

A controversial act of a company seeking to wrestle away the domain Flammea.com from its owner, has been decided at the WIPO.

CKL Holdings N.V. filed the UDRP against the owner of the domain, on the basis of a European Community trademark dated from 2008.

Only problem is, Flammea.com was registered in 2006, before any such mark existed.

To make this filing even more bizarre, the domain’s owner is named Francesco Paul Flammea and has produced color copies of his Australian passport and Australian driver license.

According to the UDRP response by Mr. Flammea:

The Respondent says he purchased the disputed domain name on September 9, 2006 and has owned it continuously since. He has produced copies of an invoice from Network Solutions dated September 4, 2006 and renewal invoices for the years 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011. He says that in 2012 he transferred the disputed domain name to his GoDaddy account, where it remains. He has produced copies of a GoDaddy Transfer Acknowledgement and an Order Confirmation both dated February 6, 2012.

The Respondent says he has never offered the disputed domain name for sale.

The Respondent says the name “Flammea” is his birth name, the family name and not a business name. The family is very proud of its name and he would never use it in bad faith. The disputed domain name will be brought into use when appropriate and until then will remain parked, as is normal for domain names without a website.

The sole panelist, Dr. Clive N.A. Trotman, thus noted the following:

“The disputed domain name was created a year before the Complainant’s trademark was applied for and nearly two years before trademark registration was granted. There is no evidence the Respondent had any privileged prior knowledge or reason to anticipate the trademark plans of the Complainant or of the trademark’s previous owner. The Panel sees no evidence that the disputed domain name was registered for the purpose of profitable sale, or in a pattern of making blocking registrations, or to disrupt the Complainant’s business, or to confuse the Complainant’s customers, or for any other reason than in good faith to secure the family name. “

For all of the above reasons, the domain Flammea.com was ordered to remain with the Respondent.

It’s interesting to note that the Complainant has filed numerous trademark applications at the USPTO, for exact matches of generic domains it does not own.

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


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