Is re-registration of a domain name during the grace period a new registration?

Vacation Pig, LLC d.b.a OOVO is a company that uses music instruments to help in cases of occluded vocal tract and breathing exercises. The Company had filed a Complaint in the Forum over the domain name

The Complainant owns several trademarks over the OOVO mark. The earliest of these marks being registered in 2020. The Complainant also claimed usage and hence common law rights over the mark since 2017.

The Respondent had registered the disputed domain name in 2014. The domain name expired in 2020. The domain name was again registered by the Respondent in 2020 during the after expiration grace period allotted to the domain. 

The Complainant claims that although the registration of the domain name by the Respondent in 2014 couldn’t be termed in bad faith. The same couldn’t be applied to the re-registration in 2020.

The Complainant claimed that a new registration was different from the renewal of a domain name. Considering the difference, the registration date of the concerned domain name should be considered as to when it was last registered. Since it was re-registered in 2020, by which the Complainant had obtained trademarks over the term, the Respondent infringed upon the Complainant’s trademarks and registered the domain name in bad faith. 

The panel noted that according to the ICANN policy the activity employed by the Respondent would be termed as ‘restore’, and hence the domain couldn’t be claimed to be re-registered. The Respondent’s registration date was set to 2014. At this time the Respondent registration couldn’t be termed in bad faith as trademarks were not registered by the Complainant then. The Complaint was thus denied. 

The panel also found that the Complainant had approached the Respondent over the purchase of the domain name. The Complainant, thus used this dispute resolution mechanism as the Plan B and with an intention to harass the Respondent. 

The panel awarded a RDNH to the Complainant. 

You can read the full case here.


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