Case Commentary – MasterCard

Written by Karthik Murthy on . Posted in Uncategorized

Mastercard International Incorporated, the owners of well-known Trade Mark “MASTERCARD” have filed a series of Complaints with the Arbitration Panel of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) for transfer of the following domain names;

priceless.net,

priceless.org,

pricelessmastercard.com,

pricelesslondon.com,
pricelessparis.com,

pricelesslosangeles.com,
pricelessmexico.com,
pricelessnewyork.com,

pricelessamsterdam.com,

pricelessistanbul.com.

The Complaints were filed by Mastercard to protect its right in the Trade Mark PRICELESS.  While Mastercard succeeded in getting transferred three domain names viz., priceless.net, priceless.org & pricelessmastercard.com, it appears that it has failed to convince the Arbitration Panel with regard to the other seven domain names.  The Arbitration Panel arrived at the conclusion that Mastercard failed to prove that the respondents acted in bad faith coupled with the fact that Mastercard did not provide sufficient evidence (in the form of documents) to prove the bad faith.  This would come as a big setback for Mastercard since it would be difficult to succeed in future complaints against domain names which have geographical location in addition to the expression PRICELESS.  With regard to the position in India, the domain name www.pricelessindia.com appears to have been registered by an individual.  The best strategy now available for Mastercard would be to register all the available domain names with geographical locations.  For Example www.pricelessmastercard.in / www.pricelessmastercard.co.in appear to be available for registration in India.

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