James Brown doesn’t “Feel Good” after losing rights to JamesBrown.com
In a recent UDRP decision, the Estate of James Brown submitted a Complaint requesting that they be transferred the rights to the domain name jamesbrown.com from the Respondent, Owned by LAC Music, represented by Gregory J. Chamberlain. A three-member Panel was chosen to resolve the dispute; the result being that the domain name rights were not transferred and currently reside with Owned by LAC Music.
Even though the Estate of James Brown lost the challenge to the domain name rights, its representatives did attempt to prove all three steps of ICANN’s policy, which is required to prevail:
(1) the domain name registered by Respondent is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which Complainant has rights; and
(2) Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and
(3) the domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
The first point is a seemingly effortless argument, which the Respondent did not even attempt to challenge and was taken as admitted. The second point was not ruled on by the Panel and instead, they first looked to the third point. Concerning the third point, the Complainant explained that “the registration of the domain was in bad faith because it was in violation of the registration agreement which precludes registration in contravention of the rights of third parties.” However, the Panel had different thoughts, referencing on the Complainant’s exhibits by stating, “Complainant has failed to provide any evidence which would rebut the evidence provided by Respondent to the effect that the domain <jamesbrown.com> was registered and used during the life of James Brown with at least his tacit consent. In fact, even the declaration evidence provided by Complainant indicates that Mr. Brown may have consented to Respondent’s actions in registering the domain in dispute.”
Failing to establish this third point left the Panel no reason to return to examine the second point, already showing that the Complainant has failed to meet the burden of proof necessary. As a result, the relief was denied and the rights to the domain name rights were left with Owned by LAC Music.
To read the full decision, click here.