Online dating service kisses goodbye to transfer under UDRP
In eCrush.com Inc v Cox Davis & Simpsom LLC, a World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) panellist has refused to order the transfer of 'ispinthebottle.com'.
eCrush.com Inc owns the domain name 'espinthebottle.com' and uses it to host a website for online dating services. It filed a complaint with WIPO under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy against Cox Davis & Simpson LLC (Cox) based on the latter's registration and use of 'ispinthebottle.com' for similar services. eCrush alleged that Cox's use of the disputed domain name was intentionally misleading consumers.
WIPO panellist Richard G Lyon refused to order the transfer of 'ispinthebottle.com'. He found that the dominant feature of eCrush's mark, the phrase 'spin the bottle', was descriptive of eCrush's services and, therefore, the mark was not entitled to strong trademark protection. Lyon also held that the single-letter difference between the parties' domain names did not definitively prove infringement. More importantly, he questioned eCrush's allegation of bad faith given that Cox had not been a frequent cybersquatter and had not tried to sell the disputed domain name. Further, Cox's dating site appeared to be a legitimate business.
Ron N Dreben and Rhoda Nkojo, Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP, Washington DC
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