Friday, December 5, 2014

#273 - - REFUSED

The Complainant, ICE IP S.A, the owner of the ICE-WATCH trade-mark for use in association with watches, and the Domain Name.  Although the Registrant responded, there were deficiencies which were not corrected and the decision was based on the Complainant’s materials only. Of note: the Complainant provided documents evidencing rights in the trade-mark prior to the Registrant’s registration which were not considered because the Panel decided this dispute on the basis of bad faith only, which was not proved. 

The Panel noted that there was an Agreement between the parties, and the Registrant was the previous distributor of the Complainant’s watches, and the breach of contract dispute between the parties was beyond the scope of the Complaint.  The Panel found that the e-mails exchanged between the parties disclosed that the Registrant likely registered the Domain Name in good faith and in the legitimate belief he would be the authorized distributor of the Complainant’s watches.  The Panel did not accept established UDRP case law refusing to allow Registrants to hold Domain Names ransom (after a falling out, for example) because the overall inquiry relates to the time of registration.  The Panel refused to acknowledge that the terms of the Agreement provided that the Domain Name transfers to the Complainant upon termination of the Agreement.

You can read the full decision here.

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