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Paul Raynor Keating, Esq. Renova, Ltd. - Law.es enova, Ltd. International Legal Consulting Services R Paris, June 2008 Death by Paper-cut Managing.

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Presentation on theme: "Paul Raynor Keating, Esq. Renova, Ltd. - Law.es enova, Ltd. International Legal Consulting Services R Paris, June 2008 Death by Paper-cut Managing."— Presentation transcript:

1 Paul Raynor Keating, Esq. Renova, Ltd. - Law.es enova, Ltd. International Legal Consulting Services R Paris, June 2008 Death by Paper-cut Managing Risk in the Domain Industry

2 How likely is the Occurrence How likely is the Result R What is risk enova

3 Sales –Breach of contract –Buy a stolen domain (express.com $150,000) Legal (tm) –Forfeiture R Sources of risk enova

4 R Which is better? Minimize Risk and Still Have a Life enova, Ltd. High risk of event Low risk of loss (UDRP loss of 7.95 domain) High risk of event High risk of loss Low risk of event High risk of loss (Express.com) Low risk of event Low risk of loss

5 R enova, Ltd. Attractive industries have predictable risk levels Sales Risk Changing Unpredictably Controllable Legal Risk

6 Final report of the WIPO Internet Domain Name Process, April 30, 1999 – process1/report/finalreport.html. process1/report/finalreport.html The UDRP is not intended to provide the holders of intellectual property rights more protection in Cyberspace than they are afforded in the physical world. R enova Consistency Represented by Authorities

7 R enova, Ltd. UDRP Complainant must PROVE: 1. Domain identical or confusingly similar to trademark 2. Registrant has no rights or Legitimate Interest 3. Bad faith registration and bad faith use. Legal Risks Began With Clear Definition

8 R enova, Ltd. IDENTICAL OR CONFUSINGLY SIMILAR It means something in the real world Trademark

9 R enova, Ltd.

10 Trademark R enova, Ltd.

11 Complainants Say the Darndest Things Meterman is not in any sense a dictionary word CHEAP HOTEL is a famous mark 187 was invented by Telecom Italia Our client holds an international trademark in……. R enova, Ltd.

12 R enova, Ltd. Complainant must show: I have a trademark (somewhere) Text vs. text Virtually anything is sufficient (use is use) Rights can exist anywhere in the world No need to actually trace ownership or even legal existence Unregistered trademark rights do not exist in some nebulous way across the breadth of the countries in which a complainant proves it has a reputation. These rights derive from national laws and do not exist divorced from such laws. (aspis.com D /18/2008) Trademark - Fast Forward……….

13 R enova, Ltd. Pay day loan is a trademark. LH is a trademark of Lufthansa (based on IATA ticket references). It is not a panels place under the Policy to investigate whether a particular registered mark that is relied upon by a complainant may or may not have been registered with the consent of an interested third party. The fact that a complainant is the registered owned of the relevant trade mark is sufficient. (aspis.com). Drugstore is a valid trademark (complainant disclaimed the word drugstore apart from the figurative design). (drugstore1.com). REALITY

14 R enova, Ltd. Complainant allege: Registrant has not Bonafide interest There is in the majoritys view no compelling justification for the importation into the Policy of local law on the question of rights or legitimate interests. This is an autonomous concept that should be interpreted consistently under the Policy, regardless of the geographical location of the parties. (Aspis.com). BUT: Didnt we import local law into the Policy in finding a trademark? So what standards do we apply? Legitimate Interest

15 R enova, Ltd. Identical TM and Domain – no legitimate interest. by adopting that domain name the registrant is making a false representation to the world as to who he is. Perhaps there will be cases where as a matter of fact a respondent will be able to show that the domain name is not perceived by the public in this way. Nevertheless, in the absence of such evidence, a panelist can reasonably assume that such a false representation is being made. (Aspis.com). Legitimate Interest

16 R enova, Ltd. What happened to rights? Prima-facie = presentation of facts which if uncontested prove the ultimate fact. Complainants simply allege the Policy in the Negative. Complainant did not authorize….. Respondent is not commonly known by….. BUT: …A prima facie allegations vanish when confronted with facts that, when viewed in the light most favorable to the defendant, contradict the prima facie evidence originally presented. ITC Ltd. V. Punchgini, Inc., 482 F. 3d 135, C.A.2 (N.Y. 2007). A prima facie standard does not alter the original burden of proof. (Id). Legitimate Interest

17 R enova, Ltd. Complainant allege: Registration in Bad Faith. Passive use of a domain is non-use and thus registration in bad faith. there is no express requirement that this bad faith be directed to or connected with a complainant. (Aspis.com; complainant did not exist at registration). the Respondents legal representative is based in Spain. (muyjunior.com) Showing willful blindness by using automated registration programs with no mechanism in place to weed out trademarks can be indicative of bad faith. Bad Faith

18 R enova, Ltd. Complainant allege: Use in Bad Faith. Single appearance of conflicting reference is sufficient. That registrant cannot control results is sufficient. Registrant can control results through removing trademark references and using met tags. (not possible Robot.txt is evidence of bad faith. nytimes.com – perfect example of robot.txt use Required by Google contracts – no automated results Bad Faith

19 R enova, Ltd. There is in the majoritys view no compelling justification for the importation into the Policy of local law on the question of rights or legitimate interests. This is an autonomous concept that should be interpreted consistently under the Policy, regardless of the geographical location of the parties. (Aspis.com). BUT: So what law is to be applied? International UDRP Court of Justice ?

20 R enova, Ltd. Respondents have the burden of proof Legitimate Interest - Frozen standard Bad Faith - Ever expanding examples Special rules for domainers (Anciens) Duty to avoid conflict RESULT: Greater risk

21 R enova, Ltd. Ancien Restaurant Chartier v. Tucows.com - Professional domaining (PPC, Resale) may be legitimate IF: You are really in that business (resale or PPC); The domain is really a dictionary word (generic/descriptive phrase); no evidence indicating actual knowledge of the TM; and, Respondent has made good faith efforts to avoid registering domain names that are identical or confusingly similar to marks held by others. CTV.com (dissent) The burden to avoid conflict with established rights, even if less than universally established, should rest upon the registrant. (Hon. R. Kerns) Selected Decisions

22 Lack of Oversight: Panels and ADR providers do not follow the rules ICANN does not manage the process Judicial Oversight does NOT exist: US ACPA is a completely different standard. Some jurisdictions prohibit any action to contest UDRP result. Panelist View – if you dont like it you can always file a court action. Unfairly places burden on the Respondent Burden should be on the Complainant. R enova, Ltd.

23 Building on Momentum gained from the early years of the industry, TM holders are continuing to cut the rug out from the industry in the UDRP and other areas. Limited input from the domainer community. Continued erosion of the rules. Inserting words not present Inserting words that are not Prima Facie evidence = prima facie allegation. Absence of a defense is now evidence of guilt. Continued expansion of bad faith elements & Precedent building. Blending of Legitimate Interest and Bad Faith. Active legislation attempts and active lobbying. R enova, Ltd.

24 GET INVOLVED FIGHT FOR THE INDUSTRY. Educate Panelists LITIGATE: Your loss = Community Loss Another domainers loss = your future loss STOP DEFAULTING ON STUPID DOMAIN NAMES !!!!!! R enova


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