Medtronic, Inc. is one of the World’s largest medical devices and technology companies. The US based company has been providing healthcare services since 1949. The company faced issues when someone registered the domain name Medotronic.com. The Company thus decided to reach WIPO over this.
The Complainant is a multinational conglomerate with operations in over 150 countries. The Complainant presented its financial figures showing revenue figures over 10 billion dollars in a year. The Complainant presents possession of trademarks related to MEDTRONIC mark in 100 jurisdictions across the world including Turkey, where the Respondent resides. The Complainant operates at Medtronic.com.
The Respondent was a Turkish company dealing in electronics. The Respondent company is named Medo Tekstil Elektronik Alim and has been in operation since 2005. The Medo is formed after combining ‘Me’ and ‘Do’, terms used to represent two of the company’s promoters. The Turkish government legally binds the Turkish companies to use only Turkish terms in their name. The domain name in dispute was thought by the Respondent to function as an acronym for Company’s name. Hence, the domain name Medotronic.com was registered.
The panel admitted that the domain name was confusingly similar to the Complainant’s mark. However the panel found that the Respondent had been using the domain name for a legitimate business, which doesn’t seem to be inspired or influenced by the Complainant’s business or marks. The Complainant failed to prove that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interest in the domain name. Neither could it be found that the domain name was registered and used in bad faith.
The panel thus sided with the Turkish entity over a Multinational Complainant. The Complaint was denied.
You can read the full case here.