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September 22, 2010 / Nate Harris

Guo Yong Ping v. Bush

Summary of Guo Yong Ping v. Bush
(Asian Domain Name Dispute Resolution Centre Case No. CN-20100351)

Filed: May 10, 2010; Decided: July 20, 2010 (Panelist: Chi Shaojie)

Disputed Domain Name: <999wg.net>

999wg.net

999wg.net

The Parties

Complainant Guo Yong Ping (“Guo”) registered the disputed domain name on October 18, 2003. It has renewed the domain several times, with the name being valid until October 19, 2013. Guo claims to own right in a company named “999”.

Respondent Bush [That’s it, just Bush] failed to respond to the complaint. According to Guo, however, Bush “hijacked” the disputed domain on March 10, 2010, along with several other domains owned by Guo. Bush allegedly changed the contact information for the domains.

Identical or Confusingly Similar

The Panel notes that Guo must prove the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark owned by Guo.

Unfortunately, the Complainant does not claim to have such a mark, but instead alleges that the disputed domain name “is identical or confusing similar to the company name through which the Complainant runs advertising business because the Domain Name encompasses the key part of the company name ‘999’ which the Complainant has the exclusive right to use.” Obviously, what the Complainant alleges to be “identical or confusingly similar to” comes out of the comparison of the disputed domain name and the trade name in which the Complainant claims to have an exclusive right. As it is, whatever the Panel thinks on the identity or confusingly similarity between the disputed domain name and the trade name cited by the Complainant, the fact-finding can hardly be used for the application of Para. 4(a)(i) of the Policy, which requires the satisfactory condition of identity or confusingly similarity between the disputed domain name and a TRADEMARK or SERVICE MARK in which the Complainant has rights. Whether the Complainant may get any sort of remedy in relation to the disputed domain name based upon the cited trade name is NOT in the scope of comments by the Panel in this proceeding.

In other words, the Panel distinguishes between a trade name (which is not part of the “identical or confusingly similar” analysis) and and a trademark or service mark (which is). Here, Guo has only alleged rights in a trade name,  and so has failed to satisfy the first prong.

Rights or Legitimate Interests / Bad Faith

Because Guo has not satisfied the first prong and so cannot prevail, the Panel declines to consider the other two prongs.

Decision

“The Panel decides to reject the claim by the Complainant.”

Commentary

Interesting decision all around, from the singularly-named Bush to the Panel’s reminder that there is a difference between a trade name and a trademark, with only the latter being relevant under the UDRP.

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