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Robin Hood vs. Robin Food : Ukrainian UDRP target keeps .com domain

A registered trademark does not give automatic rights to a domain.

A registered trademark does not give automatic rights to a domain.

The popular Robin Hood character might be a man of tights and fiction, but it has entertained generations via the books and on the Silver Screen.

Meanwhile, the domain registrant of RobinFood.com, was targeted by a Dutch company, Robin Food B.V. , who claimed 10+ year old rights to the brand. They operate from the .biz variant.

A UDRP for RobinFood.com was filed, and the Ukrainian domain investor, who had acquired it for $218 dollars on SnapNames, responded:

The Respondent had no knowledge of the Complainant and his interest in the term “Robin Food” prior to the secondary market auction, nor during the auction, not even before getting the Complaint”.

The Respondent also admits that the Domain Name together with other domain names that he owns are then used for domain name parking pages. In this case he claims that the links generated are generic ones related to food. The Respondent also appears to contend that he went through some form of checking process to verify that only generic links were displayed from that page, but when this was done is not clear. Further, he maintains that on all his pages there is a link which states “contact us if you have a dispute”. The contention here appears to be that he welcomes and will act upon complaints from trade mark owners if the pay-per-click advertisements that appear on the page conflict with those trade marks and he will then “make sure that he acts on the ads immediately if some of the ads might appear to capitalize on someone’s business name.”

Not only that, but apparently this amusing, made up variant of “Robin Hood” name attracted unsolicited offers via Domain Name Sales, of up to $1,000 dollars:

The Respondent further contends that since he registered the domain name he has had 29 enquiries from around the world from people or entities seeking to acquire the Domain Name. He provides evidence of this in the form of a print out from “DomainNameSales.com”.

This material suggest that he has in fact received 31 enquiries, that these enquiries have involved eight offers ranging from USD 1 to USD 1,000 and that the Respondent has in response to a small number of these enquiries offered to sell the Domain Name for either USD 25,000 or 40,000.

Despite all this commotion and the outright admission by the Respondent that they acquired the domain to profit, Matthew Harris, sole panelist, found that the Respondent had legitimate business rights in approaching a domain investment the way he did.

The domain RobinFood.com was thus ordered to remain with the Respondent. For the full text of the UDRP, click here.

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