Thrifty hits jackpot in UDRP proceeding

International

Oklahoma-based Thrifty Rent-A-Car has succeeded in winning the transfer of 'ThriftyAirportParking.com' and 'ThriftyValetAirportParking.com' from Connecticut-based AirportParkingLots.com. During proceedings before a three-member National Arbitration Forum panel, the registrant conceded that it had registered the domain names to generate additional business through an implied affiliation with the complainant.

Thrifty, one of the largest car rental companies in the United States, conducts approximately two-thirds of its business at airports. It operates in 90 US airports, along with a number of other units located just off airport grounds. The company is also located in the terminal of every major airport in Canada and Australia.

Relying heavily upon the registrant's own admission that the two disputed domain names incorporated the THRIFTY trademark, the panel decided that the domain names were confusingly similar, despite the addition of the generic words 'airport', 'parking' and 'valet', which were otherwise appropriate in light of the registrant's parking services business.

The panel also found that, according to the registrant's own admissions, AirportParkingLots.com had no legitimate interest in the domain names and had registered them in bad faith (ie, in order to trade off the goodwill associated with Thrifty).

Accordingly, the panel ordered that the domain names be transferred pursuant to the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy.

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

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