Does a mortgage company have common law rights over ‘THE MORTGAGE LINK’?

The Mortgage Link, Inc. is a mortgage company incorporated in 2001. The company was particularly concerned over the registration of a domain name The Company thus submitted a complaint over the domain name at the Forum. 

The Complainant claimed that it had acquired common law rights over the term THE MORTGAGE LINK mark, by the virtue of continuous usage since 2002. The Complainant also possesses different domain names related to its common law rights as well as the disputed domain name. These were namely, and

The Complainant claimed that the Respondent had no legitimate interest in the domain name and was using it in bad faith. The Respondent however didn’t file a response. 

The panel noted that the first criteria for the success of a UDRP complaint is the establishment of rights over a mark, upon which the Respondent had registered a domain name. The panel found that the only proof that the Complainant submitted to prove common law rights was a document showing its incorporation. 

Common law trademarks are acquired when a term acquired secondary meaning because of the party. The common law rights cannot be established for the Respondent as the terms here were descriptive of the Complainant’s business. 

The Complainant was thus denied. 

You can read the full case details here


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