Facebook wins domain dispute

Facebook has won a domain dispute against Privacy Ltd. Disclosed Agent for YOLAPT, a business from the Isle of Man. The disputed domain name . The domain was registered in October 2004 and “provides, inter alia, advertising for and links to other commercial websites offering social networking and information services.”Facebook’s complaint was based on three points:

  • “the domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the Complainant’s FACEBOOK Marks”
  • “the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name” with no registered trade marks, no goods or services provided and “simply uses the website at “www.face-book.com” as a portal site, listing advertisements and links to other commercial websites that offer goods and services highly similar to those of the Complainant”
  • “the domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith” and intended to free ride on Facebook’s name.

The respondent didn’t reply.WIPO found “the domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark” and that the domain name was registered in bad faith, “although the case established by the Complainant is towards the weaker end of the spectrum, noting in particular the absence of provided evidence from which the Panel may assess the extent (or otherwise) of the fame of the name or mark FACEBOOK at the moment of the registration of the disputed domain name.”In conclusion, “the Panel is convinced on balance that the disputed domain name was registered by the Respondent with actual knowledge of the Complainant’s website at ‘www.facebook.com’ and “the Respondent is in all likelihood trying to divert traffic intended for the Complainant’s website to its own for the purpose of earning click-through-revenues from Internet users searching for the Complainant’s website.”To read the full WIPO decision, go to www.wipo.int/amc/en/domains/decisions/html/2007/d2007-1193.html

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