UDRP hurdle stops Bob Avila's race for 'bobavila.com'
In Avila v B&B Productions, World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) panellist Matthew S Harris has refused to transfer the domain name 'bobavila.com' to the complainant. Harris found that due to the business relationship between the parties, it could not be established that the respondent had registered and used the domain name in bad faith.
Bob Avila, a renowned horse owner and trainer, hired Brigitte Mackenzie of B&B Productions to set up a website at 'bobavila.com' in order to market and sell various Bob Avila-branded products. The dispute arose when Avila attempted to alter the website himself and found that he could not. When he requested that Mackenzie transfer the domain name to him, she asked for $10,000. Avila filed a complaint with WIPO.
Harris dismissed Avila's claim for transfer of 'bobavila.com'. Harris decided that due to the business relationship between the parties, it could not be established that Mackenzie had registered and used the domain name in bad faith. He also confirmed the decision in Latent Technology Inc v Fritchie that "to attempt to shoehorn what is essentially a business dispute between former partners into a proceeding to adjudicate cybersquatting is, at its core, misguided, if not a misuse of the [Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy]".
Mike Butler, Hammonds, London
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