Arbitration for splits the panel

Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Ma’aden) was established on the basis of a Royal Order. The Company was incorporated to bolster Saudi Arabia’s mineral resources. The Company has diversified since then by becoming a part of the Saudi Stock Exchange,

The Company was deeply concerned over the registration as well as usage of the domain name The Company thus filed a complaint at WIPO.

The Complainant claims common law trademarks over MA’ADEN. The Complainant has also registered the domain name, which was registered in 1999. The Complainant further acquired related figurative marks for the logo in Australia and Saudi Arabia in 2014 and 2020 respectively. 

The Respondent registered the disputed domain name in 2011 and was using the domain name for PPC. The Respondent contested that the registration of the domain name was based on the value attached to the name, virtue of its Arabic meaning of mineral or minerals. 

The panel (majority) noted that the claim of the Respondent of acquiring the domain name in 2011 wasn’t backed by solid facts and findings. This causes suspicion on the Respondent who has earlier been associated with Cybersquatters. The Respondent couldn’t properly explain the rationale behind him registering an Arabic entity’s domain name. The domain name was transferred.

One of the judges, however, had a dissenting opinion. According to him the domain name was used for PPC which is a legitimate use of the domain name. There was also the evidence of both parties engaging in conversation regarding the price of the domain. An agreement couldn’t be determined and thus UDRP was filed. This, according to one of the panelists, this was enough ground for handing a UDRP to the Complainant. 

On a majority decision, the domain name was transferred. 

Read the case in detail here.


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