Swiss Re nabs 'swissre.us' from art dealer

A National Arbitration Forum (NAF) panel has ordered the transfer of the domain name 'swissre.us' to Swiss Reinsurance Company (Swiss Re) of Switzerland, which has been operating under the service mark SWISS RE in the United States since 1910.

The registrant, Stephan Purtschert, also of Switzerland, asserted that he was promoting Swiss art on his website, but panellist Anne Wallace found that Swiss Re met all three prongs of the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy necessary to win a transfer, namely:

  • the domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the service mark in which Swiss Re has rights;

  • the registrant has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and

  • the domain name had been registered and was being used in bad faith.

With regard to the second prong, Wallace concluded that Purtschert failed to prove his rights or legitimate interests in the domain name since he developed his Swiss art website only after he received notice of the dispute.

With regard to the third prong, Wallace found that bad faith was supported by evidence that Purtschert offered to transfer the domain name to Swiss Re on condition that Swiss Re buy 100 of his paintings for $1 million. In addition, Purtschert had no valid reason to register a name in the '.us' country-code top-level domain.

Markus R Frick, Walder Wyss & Partners, Zurich

Get unlimited access to all WTR content