Filing a UDRP when you have a common brand name – domain name wire
Can you show that the domain owner registered the domain with your business in mind?
Today, National Arbitration Forum published a reverse domain name hijacking decision against Gridiron Fiber Corp. and Lumos Telephone LLC d / b / a Lumos Networks. The company operates the Lumos Networks brand for Internet and TV services in part of Virginia. He filed the UDRP against lumos.com.
The case is an important lesson for companies with “common” brands. To earn a UDRP, you must prove that the domain owner was targeting your brand with its domain registration. With lumos.com, it was an uphill battle.
Although technically not listed in the dictionary, lumos is a popular brand name used by many companies. It is also a term popularized in the Harry Potter series.
The complainant argued that the owner of the domain should be aware of it because it ranks # 1 in Google search. In my research, it seems to fluctuate between # 1 and # 2. But there are a lot of other companies that use this term. On the first page of Google, you’ll see results from the Lumos bike helmet, an NGO created by JK Rowing, Lumos Diagnostics, and an Oregon wine seller.
And before the current owner bought the domain for $ 22,722 in an expired domain auction, the domain was in use by a company called Lumos Technologies and then the Rowling Charity.
So, in all likelihood, the purchase was due to its prior use and the plethora of potential buyers, not a broadband company in Virginia.
The owner of the estate could have tripped if he had parked the estate. If it displayed advertisements for internet access, a panel might suggest targeting even if it was simply what pay-per-click algorithms determined. That is why you should be careful with the parking of your domains.
The bottom line for brands is that just showing that your brand existed when a domain was acquired is not enough to show that the domain was registered and used in bad faith. Ask yourself the question: is the owner of the domain located in my same geographical area? Am I a dominant brand related to this word? Is there any other evidence that I was directly targeted? If the answer is not clearly “yes”, be very careful before making a cybersquatting claim.
In this case, the complainant inquired about purchasing the domain before filing the UDRP. The panel considered this to be a “Plan B” UDRP filing.