Sacrebleu! French ‘Blue Dragon’ domain owner fought back the UDRP

The French Revolution of 2014.

A French gaming company won this UDRP.

The French owner of the aged domain felt the flame of another French company, who filed a UDRP against them.

Dragon Bleu, SAS of Rungis, France alleged that the domain owener infringed on its trademark, DRAGON BLEU, related to martial arts sportswear and martial arts promotions.

The Respondent is a games software producer, focusing on the mythical genre:

“With specific reference to the use of the disputed domain name, the Respondent highlights that it is pointed to a website displaying links related to subjects as fantasy fiction, mythology, legends, griffins, in keeping with the concept of a blue dragon. Therefore, the Respondent concludes that its use of the disputed domain name is consistent with the ordinary connotations of the phrase at issue.

The Respondent also claims that, apart from the Complainant’s particular interest in martial arts clothing and fight promotion, the Complainant does not own a monopoly in the phrase “blue dragon”, since the blue dragon is, in fact, a venomous species of sea slug (Glaucus atlanticus), while, more broadly, the phrase “dragon bleu” is used for a wide variety of purposes, including as a trademark to identify a brand of vodka in France.”

IP attorney, John Berryhill, represented the Respondent in this case.

A three member panel examined the facts and came to a positive conclusion, on behalf of the Respondent, registrant of the domain

“In order to try to demonstrate the Respondent’s bad faith, the Complainant merely relied on the Respondent’s redirection of the disputed domain name to a landing page with sponsored links and asserted that the Respondent intended to attract users to its website for commercial gain by causing confusion with the Complainant’s trademark.

However, the Panel’s review of the website published at the disputed domain name, as also highlighted by the screenshots submitted by the Complainant itself, shows that the links featured on the website do not target the Complainant or its competitors; rather, they are mainly related to the dictionary meaning of “dragons” and “blue dragons” with links to fantasy-related websites. Therefore, beyond conclusory allegations, the Complainant has not offered evidence that the use is not legitimate or that the registration and use is in bad faith. Furthermore, the Complainant has also failed to prove that the Respondent specifically registered the disputed domain name to target the Complainant’s trademark.

In view of the above and of the nature of the Complainant’s mark, which encompasses common dictionary words in a phrase in French (meaning “blue dragon”) not exclusively referable to the Complainant, the Panel finds that the Complainant has not proved that the Respondent has intended to take, or actually has taken, advantage of the disputed domain name for its significance as the Complainant’s trademark.”

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


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