'Garfeild.com' transferred in typosquatting cat-fight

In Paws Incorporated v John Zuccarini, National Arbitration Forum panellist Carolyn Marks Johnson has ordered the transfer of 'garfeild.com' - a misspelling of Paws' famous GARFIELD trademark - to Paws. Since the introduction of the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) in 1999, Zuccarini has lost over 100 cases, involving hundreds of domain names.

Paws created the Garfield comic strip in 1978 and owns the trademark GARFIELD. In 1999 well-known cybersquatter John Zuccarini registered 'garfeild.com' and used the domain name to direct visitors to a pornographic website. Paws filed a complaint under the UDRP after receiving complaints from internet users who had been misdirected away from the official Garfield website as a result of Zuccarini's registration.

Johnson determined that, pursuant to Paragraphs 4(c)(i) and (iii) of the UDRP, the domain name was confusingly similar to the GARFIELD trademark and Zuccarini's use of it was not a legitimate non-commercial or fair use.

Johnson also held that Zuccarini's use of 'garfeild.com' "in order to gain revenue from diverting internet users to pornographic websites," satisfied the standard of registering and using the domain name in bad faith. She therefore ordered the transfer of the domain name to Paws.

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

Get unlimited access to all WTR content