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WDBJ : TV station fails to grab aged .com domain via UDRP

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WDBJ.COM UDRP

WDBJ.COM UDRP

The naming convention of radio and TV stations in the US is quite interesting.

One of the most popular TV shows was “WKRP in Cincinnati.”

Gray Television Group, Inc. of Atlanta, Georgia, uses the acronyms WDBJ and WDBJ7. They use WDBJ7.com and really wanted WDBJ.com, so they filed a UDRP against the aged .com.

Registered in 1996, WDBJ.com is owned by a company named Radio plus, spol.s r.o. of Prague, Czech Republic.

So a TV and a radio station fighting over the same acronym – who wins?

According to the Respondent:”

The Respondent’s company was created in 1991. It is in the business of electronic trade. It also purchases and registers “generic” domain names. Four letter domain names that do not contain vowels are “inherently valuable”, particularly in the Chinese market. The Disputed Domain Name has a high value because of the “BJ” at the end, as “BJ” is used to refer to Beijing.

The Disputed Domain Name was not registered with the Complainant in mind. It was registered because it is a four letter domain name. The Complainant has never contacted the Respondent in relation to the alleged “phishing”. If these allegations are true, it was caused by the advertiser buying traffic from a zero-click advertising platform. Instead of writing to the Respondent, so it could take down a “rogue” advertiser, the Complainant is using the UDRP process to get the Disputed Domain Name for free.

So wait, we thought the Respondent is a radio station? This makes no sense.

Apparently not.

The Respondent appears to be an electronics/radio components trader that also delves in domains. They also own the domain Electron.com.

Now it makes more sense.

The domain WDBJ.com was listed for $24,999 dollars at Afternic. The Complainant offered $3,000 dollars at some point, which was turned down.

A three member panel at the WIPO, refused to order the Respondent to surrender the domain, for the following reasons:

– There is no evidence of showing that the Respondent was, or should have been, aware of the Complainant or its registered and unregistered trade marks. There is no evidence that the trade mark is famous. The Disputed Domain Name and the Complainant’s registered trade mark are not identical. Nothing on the record suggests that the Respondent should have had knowledge of the Complainant when it registered the Disputed Domain Name.

– Previous Panels have found that short domain names are valuable property. It is conceivable that the Respondent registered the Disputed Domain Name for this reason and not because of any value it may have as a trade mark.

To read the full text of the case for WDBJ.com click here.


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