SNCF Voyageurs, the French nationwide railway firm, operates a public transport service in France known as TER (Transport specific régional). The firm filed a UDRP towards the precious TER.com area identify on the World Intellectual Property Organization. The decision was revealed immediately, and the UDRP was denied.
While it nearly all the time appears that a complainant in a 3 letter .com UDRP is overreaching to nab a helpful asset by way of authorized means moderately than buying it, I believed the complainant might have had a puncher’s likelihood of successful this case. From my vantage level, the most important problem for the area registrant was the existence of ppc (PPC) hyperlinks associated to the complainant. Here’s what the complainant reported:
“As of June 21, 2021, the disputed area identify resolved a parking web page with the next pay-per-click (“PPC”) classes: “Train SNCF” (linking to a listing of internet sites together with “www.thetrainline.com”), “Amtrack Train Tickets” (linking to a listing of internet sites together with “www.mytrainpal.com”), “Tickets Rail” (linking to a listing of internet sites together with “www.omio.com”), “Parcel Service Tracking”, “Tankcar”, and “Amtrack Train Fares”.”
The area registrant didn’t deny the existence of those PPC hyperlinks. In reality, he coherently defined why he parked the area identify, how these hyperlinks got here to be proven, and why he felt they need to not impression his skill to retain the area identify:
“Pending resale, and to recoup a number of the price, the Respondent determined to resolve the disputed area identify to an English-language touchdown web page with PPC promoting hyperlinks for a vast number of services and products, generated by a third celebration service with none management from the Respondent. The Respondent was assured that this may be an innocuous step, given the generic nature of the disputed area identify and the superior algorithms utilized by PPC companies to display screen out commerce marks from PPC-generated hyperlinks.
In any case, it’s dangerous religion for the Complainant to say that customers who see the disputed area identify will essentially assume that the PPC web page is linked to the Complainant. Consumers are extra subtle than they was once. They may have seen PPC pages earlier than and can perceive that that they don’t seem to be associated to any enterprise.
While the PPC web page does embody hyperlinks to web sites of the Complainant’s opponents, it additionally has hyperlinks to unrelated topics, a few of which can be topic to the identical sort of declare as that made by the Complainant, particularly that the Respondent is deliberately creating a chance of confusion with the Complainant’s commerce mark. If so, even when the Respondent is performing in dangerous religion (which is denied), he isn’t actively concentrating on the Complainant’s commerce mark.”
In denying the UDRP, the panelist, Adam Taylor, reviewed all facets of the case and got here away with the idea that the area registrant didn’t register the area identify in dangerous religion. While contemplating the problem of PPC hyperlinks associated to the complainant, the panelist referenced the KIS.com decision, the SNF.com decision, the MNG.com decision and the TDS.com decision to achieve his conclusion that this UDRP didn’t meet the required burden.
I believed this was a effectively written choice, and the panelist made the appropriate name. I additionally suppose area registrants, notably those that maintain helpful brief acronym domains, must make a good effort to keep away from infringing PPC hyperlinks. While these are mechanically generated by parking companies and upstream suppliers, most corporations permit key phrase concentrating on to keep away from infringing hyperlinks. That mentioned, no system is ideal so that is a danger that must be thought of.
I’d not have been shocked had the panelist dominated in favor of the complainant on this case. It would have been simple to see the PPC hyperlinks and assume the worst of the area registrant. I commend Mr. Taylor for giving a thorough evaluate of the whole case. TER.com is a helpful area identify, and it appears clear to me that the complainant acquired it for its generic nature as a helpful three letter .com area identify.