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Bad faith registration sticks to a domain

A cybersquatter registered the domain name Lots of typosquatters register the domain name corresponding to a legitimate website, but omit the period between the www and the domain name. Go ahead, pick any website that you visit on a regular basis, and take out the period. Chances are, you’ll find yourself on a pay-per-click page. (See What is a Pay-Per-Click Page? and Auto-generated websites equal bad faith under the UDRP).

The cybersquatter then transferred the domain to another party. That party tried to claim that it had registered it in good faith, thus the UDRP did not apply.

The case, United Parcel Service of America, Inc. v. Michael Robert, WIPO Case No. D2008-0339 was rather simple — given that it involved such a famous mark.

What is interesting about this case is that the panelist made it clear that bad faith registration, at least under the facts of this case, follows the domain name – even if it is transferred to a new registrant.

Under the circumstances, the bad faith underlying the original registration is properly imputed to the recipient of domain name in question. If this were not the case, unscrupulous parties could easily subvert the purpose and provisions of the Policy by transferring domain names to third persons in anticipation of a case being brought and have the third party nominally refrain from engaging in bad faith use while the case was pending thereby possibly avoiding a finding of bad faith registration and/or use. The Panel concludes that the bad faith involved in the original registration of the Domain Name should be imputed to Respondent.

The opposite, however, is not true. See, e.g., HSBC v. Clear Blue Sky; AEG v. Alvarez.

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