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Apple grabs Appla.com in quick and dirty UDRP

At least several hundred domain names are owned by Apple.

Apple apparently owns rights to any “appl-” word.

The odds sided with technology giant, Apple, when the sole panelist, Manuel Moreno-Torres, delivered his judgement about the domain name Appla.com.

Citing confusing similarity to its world famous mark, Apple filed a UDRP at the WIPO in April.

In particular, Apple’s contention was as follows:

“In relation to the first element, the Complainant states that upon simple comparison the Domain Name is nearly identical and/or confusingly similar to Complainant’s famous APPLE mark. The <appla.com> Domain Name contains exactly the mark APPLE with the replacement of “e” by “a”.

Such minor misspelling alteration in this context is an insignificant variation to Complainant’s APPLE mark that does nothing to obviate the confusing similarity between the Domain Name and the APPLE mark.

Complainant also states that the Domain Name serves as a trap for unwary Internet users who mistype <apple.com> by accidentally adding a letter “a” instead of “e” in the Domain Name. Thus, a classic typosquatting intended to direct Internet users who misspell Complainant’s trademark to Respondent’s website.”

Seemingly, Apple aggressively claimed not just “apple” as part of its sole rights to the mark, but any word that starts with “appl-“.

Appla.com had been registered since 2002.

The truth is that the domain, being parked with a redirector to ads, displayed content most likely linked to Apple products. That, combined with the fact that the Russian registrant did not respond to the UDRP, sent the domain in the digital basket of Apple’s lawyers.

For the full decision, click here.

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