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Tyres.plus : Far-reaching UDRP or valid concern by Michelin?

ZFBot

Michelin is a large manufacturer of tires, and they own the trademark TYREPLUS. They also own the domain TyrePlus.com.

The spelling “tyre” is British English, while in the US we use the alternate spelling, “tire.”

A UDRP against the gTLD domain Tyres.Plus resulted in the decision at the WIPO to give the domain to the Complainant.

Was that a far-reaching UDRP, combining the keyword with the gTLD part to form what is *almost* the trademark?

The presumably Ukrainian registrant of Tyres.plus did not respond, and the single member panelist, Roberto Bianchi, delivered a finding of bad faith in the Respondent’s actions, identifying the following reasons:

a) The registration of Complainant’s mark predates the registration of the disputed domain name by almost a decade;

b) Complainant’s mark is well-known in the field of tires dealers in numerous countries, including in Ukraine;

c) Respondent’s choice of a domain name slightly modifying Complainant’s mark suggests typosquatting;

d) Respondent never used the disputed domain name;

e) Given the renown of Complainant’s TYREPLUS mark, it is difficult to imagine any use of the disputed domain name that would not be illegitimate;

f) Respondent failed to reply to Complainant’s cease-and-desist letter, and to provide any explanation for its choice of the disputed domain name. It also failed to reply to any of Complainant’s contentions in this proceeding.

Perhaps, the Thai holder of the domain Tyre.plus is next.

For the full text of the UDRP decision for Tyres.plus, click here.


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