Supposed ignorance of magazine thwarts The Economist over domain name

The Economist magazine failed in its attempt to gain control of the domain name The reason – the owner claimed that he had never heard of the magazine when he registered the name.The website for the disputed domain name has been used to present a photograph of Alan Greenspan, former chairman of the Federal Reserve in the US, “for over 5 years”. The Response indicates that Mr. Rose has not developed the site further due to “personal and health reasons”, but that he hopes to expand the site in the future.According to Mr Rose, he had not heard of The Economist when he registered the domain name, something that is surprising for someone who professes to have an interest in economics and the workings of the Federal Reserve. However, while the magazine is called The Economist, it would be reasonable to assume it is a reasonable generic term.The Economist magazine could not prove the domain name was registered in bad faith even though the WIPO panellist, the Hon. Sir Ian Barker, QC the Panel was “highly sceptical and almost incredulous about the Respondent’s claim that he registered the disputed domain name in 1996 in order to establish a website dedicated to Mr. Greenspan whom he considered ‘The Economist’. Especially when the disputed domain name gives no clue that it was intended to lead to a site in honor of Mr. Greenspan. Furthermore, the Respondent has done nothing in 11 years other than to have posted a picture of Mr. Greenspan on the site.”The Panel also has some doubts about the Respondent’s denial in paragraph 6 of his first declaration that he had never received any correspondence from the Complainant, in view of the letter sent to him by the Complainant in April 2001. His statements generally appear somewhat self-serving.”The Respondent’s failure to respond to that letter and his ongoing use of the disputed domain name, which resolves only to a site showing a picture of Mr. Greenspan, is enough to show ongoing bad faith use in this case. However, in view of the Respondent’s declarations under penalty, the Panel cannot find bad faith registration proved on the balance of probabilities. Despite the Panel’s misgivings about the credibility of his claim, this proceeding under the Policy is not the proper forum for testing its validity more than 11 years after the domain name was registered. The only way that Mr. Rose’s assertions can be tested is in litigation where a judge would have proper opportunity of assessing the quality of this evidence. A proceeding under the Policy is not the proper forum for determining such a belated issue of fact.”The WIPO decision in full can be found at

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