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Recent UDRP decision confirms ICANN’s three step policy

In a UDRP decision last week, the Panel ordered that the rights to the domain name vacationinwilliamsburg.com remain with the respondent, Capital Marketing Rock Hill. This ruling was issued after only examining the first of three elements in determining if a domain name should be transferred or canceled: “(1) the domain name registered by Respondent is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights.”  Nowhere in the Complaint does the Complainant, Vacation Center, LLC,  allege, much less provide evidence to prove, that it has rights in a trademark or service mark which is identical or confusingly similar to the disputed domain name.

Without regard for the first element, the Complainant did attempt to demonstrate the third element: “(3) the domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith,” citing an agreement of sale that was not followed through on. However, according to ICANN’s Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy, all three elements need to be proven in order for a domain name to be transferred. This left an easy ruling for the Panel, stating, “Since the Panel has concluded that the Complainant has not satisfied Policy ¶ 4(a)(i), the Panel declines to analyze the other two elements of the Policy.”

This decision further goes to show the importance of demonstrating all three elements of ICANN’s policy and the importance of alleging the basic elements necessary when filing a claim.

The entire decision can be read here.

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