FOX wins case against Italian cybersquatter

International

A three-member National Arbitration Forum panel has decided in favour of well-known movie studio Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation in its Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) case against a notorious Italian cybersquatter, Michele Dinoia, over the domain name 'FoxMovieChannel.com'.

FOX is the owner of US trademark registrations for the FOX MOVIE CHANNEL and FOX marks and has continuously used the marks since 1915 for its products and services in the television and motion picture industry. When Fox discovered that 'FoxMovieChannel.com' had been registered and was being used by Dinoia, it commenced proceedings for cybersquatting.

The panel found that the domain name is identical to the FOX MOVIE CHANNEL mark and that Dinoia does not have rights or legitimate interests in it. Dinoia used the domain name to misdirect visitors to a revenue-generating search engine, and not in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services. The panel said that Dinoia's use of the disputed domain name unfairly traded off the goodwill associated with the FOX MOVIE CHANNEL mark.

Noting that Dinoia had been named as a respondent in a number of prior UDRP cases (most recently in decisions issued in favour of Circuit City Stores, Anheuser Busch and America Online), the panel ordered that the domain name be transferred.

James L Bikoff and Patrick L Jones, Silverberg Goldman & Bikoff LLP, Washington DC (with the assistance of Rachel Losk, Georgetown University Law Centre)

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