WIPO Case Commentary – Verizon

Written by Karthik Murthy on . Posted in Uncategorized

The Arbitration Panel of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has ordered for transfer of nine (9) domain names in favour of the Verizon Group.  The Domain Names against which the complaint has been filed are;

www.verizoniphone4.com,

www.verizonwirelessiphone4.com,

www.verizonwirelessiphone4g.com,

www.verizonwirelessiphone5.com,

www.verizonwireless4giphone.com,

www.vzwiphone4.com,

www.vzwiphone4g.com,

www.vzwiphone5.com,

www.vzw4giphone.com.

The Order which was made on 30th March 2012 ruled that the respondent Cyrus de Ocampo (the registrant of all the nine domain names) has cyber squatted the domain names and has registered them in bad faith.  One important issue to be noted in the Order is that though the Domain Names contained the expression “IPHONE”, which is a well-known mark of Apple Inc., the Panel ruled in favour of Verizon on the ground that “the respondent’s inclusion of third-party’s Trade mark in a domain name does not eliminate confusing similarity. 

With regard to the Indian Market, it seems that mobile operators in India have not yet analysed the ‘Online Brand Protection Strategies’ and the dilution and tarnishment that a cybersquatted domain name may cause to their well-known Trade Mark.  For example, www.airteliphone.com / www.airceliphone.com have been cybersquatted.

Domain Name Disputes India, are India’s first consultants dealing exclusively with Online Brand Protection & Domain Name Disputes. Domain Name Disputes India offers its clients detailed online brand protection strategies and solutions to protect them from online frauds, cybersquatting, sale of counterfeit goods etc., To know more, please visit www.domaindisputesindia.com., call me @ +91 9840477744 or mail me at [email protected]

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