5
Dec/02

Complainant Prevails Against Distributor in UDRP Case


The string of UDRP cases regarding re-sellers (such as the WEBER Grill case) has long been troubling. to me.  I understand how a distributor of authorized ACME products may not be cyber-squatting if they point the name to a page selling ACME products (even though the such use might still be infringing, because, in my view, the use of ACME.COM suggests a level of endorsement by the owner of the ACME tradmark that may not exist).  However, the reasoning of some of the re-seller cases might, for example, allow the owner of a convenience store,  to register doman names reflecting any of the 1000 or so brand-names it carries, provided it points the name to a page promoting that product.  I personally think there should be some privitiy of contract between the distributor and the complainant, for the “bona fide offering of goods” defense to take hold.  I also think brand owners should put language in their invoices and license agreements barring their distributors from obtaining certain domain names.

Now in a UDRP case involving BOSTITCH.COM, complainant successfuly showed that the distributor was using the domian name to place itself in a superior position ot other authorized distributors of BOSTITCH products.  Accordignly, its regsitration of the domain name was not in good faith and its offering of goods was not bona fide.  Thank you to UDRPLAW.NET for this one.

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