ZionWealth.com : Jesus saves, per this UDRP decision

UDRP has been denied.

The owner of ZionWealth.com was struck with a UDRP brought forth by the Zions Bank.

Citing a trademark for ZIONS and a history going back to the 1800’s, the mighty bank is the Goliath in this case.

The Respondent, a Cameroon man and church Deacon who is a self-taught developer, took his domain’s defense in his own hands, like a true David.

The Respondent contends that the Complainant is claiming rights over the dictionary word “Zion”, which refers to the hill on which the city of Jerusalem was originally built, without proof of secondary meaning or distinctiveness.

It also states that the use of the dictionary word “Zion”, whose meaning is predominantly in the domain of religion and spirituality, does not automatically create confusion with a trademark ZIONS belonging to an institution operating in the domain of banking and finance.

As if this wasn’t enough, the Respondent raised the issue of spirituality and brought Jesus Christ himself into play:

“The Respondent further asserts that its habit of freely providing services for the spiritual empowerment of others explains why it developed a genuine interest in starting “Zion Wealth”, which promotes “corporate spiritual responsibility as a means of promoting the Gospel of Christ in God’s spiritual kingdom (ZION) and empowering people with a better understanding and experience of spirituality (WEALTH)”.

The Respondent claims that the use of common words in a domain name related to the descriptive meaning of the website’s services constitutes use in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services, pursuant to paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the UDRP, and that the bona fide service the website provides at this point is information about Corporate Spiritual Responsibility. The Respondent also states that it did not register the disputed domain name for the purpose of capitalizing on the Complainant’s goodwill, but rather for the purpose of educating local businesses on the need of promoting God’s spiritual kingdom by promoting the Gospel of Christ which empowers people with spirituality.”

The WIPO panelist relied on Archive.org data, and located the evidence there:

“The Panel notes that the parties have not submitted any screenshots of the website to which the disputed domain name resolved. However, the Panel has reviewed the screenshot of the Respondent’s website shown in the Internet Archive (“www.archive.org/web”) on March 4, 2017, (i.e.,following receipt of the Amendment to the Complaint) as well as the website currently online. The Panel notes that on March 4, 2017, the disputed domain name resolved to a website displaying “ZION WEALTH” at the top of the page, quotes of Bible verses, statements explaining the asserted scope of the website, which would be dedicated to sponsoring spiritual events and preaching among businesses, and stock “Lorem ipsum” web builder text underneath separate sections for “Client Needs”, “Our Products”, and “Our Models”. “

For all this, Luca Barbero, sole panelist at the WIPO ordered the domain ZionWealth.com to remain with the Respondent. Amen.

Read the full text of this UDRP.

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One Response to “ZionWealth.com : Jesus saves, per this UDRP decision”
  1. Jeff Manes says:

    Get Billy McBride on the case.

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