French radio companies win '' decision


Lagardère Active Broadcast and Europe 2 Communication, owners of the popular French radio station Europe2, have won the 60th decision under the Uniform Domain Name Resolution Policy involving a '.tv' domain name in their case against the registrant of ''.

The registrant, Philippe Boulicaut, offered to sell the domain name to the complainants and even completed a transfer agreement on March 13 2001. After the complainants declined to pay more than Boulicaut's registration costs, Boulicaut refused to complete the transfer. He later transferred the registration to an apparently non-existent company called Anatol France to further frustrate the complainants' attempts to obtain the domain name.

Boulicaut's conduct after signing the transfer agreement was considered an element of bad faith by panellist Thomas Legler of the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Centre. As to the fame of the complainants' mark, Legler found that Europe2 is a famous radio station in France so Boulicaut must have been aware of the complainants' rights in the EUROPE2 trademark when he registered the domain name and of the possible interest that the complainants would have in ''. Because the domain name is identical to Europe2's registered mark, Boulicaut has no rights or legitimate interests in the domain name, and had registered and used it in bad faith. Accordingly, Legler had the domain name transferred.

In decisions involving '.tv' domain names, the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Centre has granted transfer to complainants in 35 of 40 cases. The National Arbitration Forum has decided all 20 of its '.tv' cases in favour of the complainants.

James L Bikoff and Patrick L Jones, Silverberg Goldman & Bikoff LLP, Washington DC

Unlock unlimited access to all WTR content