: Savvy arbitration panelist does the right thing in domain UDRP

UDRP denied.

UDRP denied.

The owner of the aged, generic domain was served with a UDRP and despite being in Hong Kong, he defended his domain.

Unlike many other domainers who happen to own quality, generic domains but fail to respond to UDRPs,  Chung Kit Lam of La-Fame Corporation filed an official and timely response.

The Complainant in this case was Record Connect, Inc. a company operating from The latter, was registered in 2012, the same year that they claimed first use of the mark RECORD CONNECT.

Fending off the Complainant’s allegations of lacking rights to the domain, the Respondent stated the following:

“Respondent uses the <> domain name for the bona fide offering of information for products and services including and related to connecting customers to suppliers of various electronic devices.

Respondent uses the <> domain name to operate a website focusing on the expansion of its business operations into niche targeting for products and services related to various electronic devices and the connection of customers to suppliers. Any delay in the activity of the website was due to the process required to maintain certain quality levels for the associated suppliers.

Respondent’s registration of the <> domain name in March/April 2009 predates Complainant’s first use of the RECORD CONNECT mark. Any purchase offers received by Respondent were conducted through a website parking service, and so the identity of any potential buyer was unknown to Respondent. “

The Complainant stated that they make annual sales in excess of $2.4 million dollars using the RECORD CONNECT mark.

In our opinion, it’s remarkable that an established company with such financial prowess would consider taking the domain’s owner to a UDRP proceeding, instead of negotiating a legitimate acquisition.

Darryl C. Wilson, Panelist at the National Arbitration Forum assessed the facts of this dispute and ordered the domain to remain with the Respondent.

“Complainant claims to have common law rights dating back to its first use in 2012. Complainant’s own WHOIS evidence supports Respondent’s assertion that it registered the domain name in 2009 thus predating Complainant’s rights in the mark. Respondent maintains that it uses the <> domain name, as well as the related subdomain <>, for the bona fide offering of information for products and services including and related to connecting customers to suppliers of various electronic devices including record devices, connect devices for tablets, mobile phones TVs, power supplies, and other similar electronic devices. Respondent has provided a reference to <>, which it claims to have created as a clone of the <> domain name’s website in order to ensure that such content can be displayed in this proceeding. The Panel finds Respondent’s evidence and purported use supportive of Respondent’s assertion that it is using the <> domain name to make a bona fide offering of goods or services. See Burke Inc v. Leader Techs. LLC, FA 102822 (Forum Mar. 29, 2002) (finding that the respondent’s use of the disputed domain name to offer non-competing goods and services in commerce, starting twelve months prior to the complainant’s registration, was evidence that the respondent had rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name); see also Workshop Way, Inc. v. Harnage, FA 739879 (Forum Aug. 9, 2006) (finding that the respondent overcame the complainant’s burden by showing it was making a bona fide offering of goods or services at the disputed domain name). The Panel here finds that Respondent has rights and legitimate interest in the disputed domain name.”

For the full text of the UDRP for the domain, click here.

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