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SOLINK : Chinese domainer defends domain against UDRP

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

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

Gone are the days that Chinese domain investors failed to produce a response, when faced with a UDRP against their assets.

In a case involving the domain Solink.com, the Respondent succeeded to fend off the Complainant’s demands.

Solink Corporation of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, claimed rights to the SOLINK mark.

According to the UDRP:

“The Complainant claims common law rights in the trade mark SOLINK (the “Trade Mark”) by virtue of the Complainant’s continuous use, since 2009, of the Trade Mark in relation to the marketing and sale of its computer software.”

Not so fast, said the Chinese Respondent, your presence in China is non-existent!

“The Respondent contends that the Complainant does not possess any registered trade mark rights in respect of the Trade Mark, the Respondent has rights and legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name, and the disputed domain name was not registered and has not been used in bad faith. The Respondent also requests that the Panel make a finding against the Complainant of reverse domain name hijacking.”

The Respondent assertedthat more than 90% of Internet users in China prefer to use the Baidu search engine, and relied upon a recent search result for “SOLINK” using Baidu to assert that the Complainant and its Trade Mark are unknown in China.

The Complainant’s reply submissions and the Complainant’s submissions filed in response to the Panel Order demonstrate that, in fact, the first search result in the search history relied upon by the Respondent does in fact refer to the Complainant and to its computer software.

Long story short, Sebastian M.W. Hughes, sole panelist for the WIPO denied the Complainant’s request for a transfer, all while refusing to deliver a finding of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking as the Respondent requested.

For the full text of the UDRP decision for Solink.com, click here.

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