Complaints Board does not ecco shoe manufacturer's cybersquatting claim

Denmark

The well-known Danish shoe manufacturer, Ecco, has lost its case before the Danish Domain Name Complaints Board concerning the domain name 'ecco.dk'. The board ruled that the registrant, Ecco Seafood, was entitled to keep the domain name.

Ecco Seafood has been using the name Ecco since 1961, while Ecco Shoes did not adopt the name until the beginning of the 1980s. In 1994 Ecco Seafood registered its trademark in Class 29 of the Nice Classification (shrimps), whereas Ecco Shoes registered its trademark in various other classes.

Ecco Shoes claimed that Ecco Seafood only used the disputed domain name as an email address, and that in registering the name it was trying to take advantage of Ecco Shoes' world famous name.

However, the Domain Name Complaints Board found that Ecco Seafood's trademark was valid, despite the fact that (i) Ecco Shoes had registered its trademark in several classes before Ecco Seafood had registered its trademark, and (ii) Ecco Shoes' trademark is very well known.

It found instead that Ecco Seafood had a legitimate interest in registering 'ecco.dk' as a domain name and had been using the name to host a website from which it promoted its business in the shrimp industry. As Ecco Seafood was the first to register the disputed domain name, the board found that it was entitled to keep it.

Casper Moltke-Leth, Moltke-Leth Advokater, Copenhagen

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