It is difficult to ascertain how a domain dispute case would be considering the wide range of disputes that arbitration platforms have to mediate. As for example the convention is that if a trademark proceeds the registration of domain name, the trademark holder has an upper hand in such a case. But is it true, everytime?
WIPO witnessed a tussle for the contention of the four lettered domain name IRSN.com. The Complainant here is Institut de Radioprotection et de Sûreté Nucléaire. While the Respondent is a private domain name investor.
The Complainant claims trademark rights over the IRSN mark in France as well as the International trademark. Both of these trademarks were registered in 2015. The Complainant operates at the domain name IRSN.fr.
The disputed domain name was registered by the Respondent in 2021. The domain name displayed different PPC clinks and also offered the same for sale. The website as per the Complainant was also in French.
The Respondent claimed that registering a domain name as an investment is an accepted use case of ‘legitimate interest’. The Respondent argued that he had invested on the domain name as it was a 4 lettered word that could be used for a multitude of populations. The Respondent argued that the term in question, i.e., IRSN resulted in a plethora of results with entities other than the Complainant linked to it.
The panel found that the Complainant hasn’t provided enough evidence to support the claim that the Respondent intended to derive benefits from the Complainant. The Complainant is a French firm, which might not be recognizable at the place of residence of the Respondent. The panel accepted the Respondent’s claims that the domain name was purchased because of the unique and lucrative 4 letter nature of the same.
The panel denied the Complaint.
You can read the full case here.