360Training.com, is an online training and certification company that works on a spectrum of different industries and professionals. The company entered into a legal battle, related to one of its Trademarked names, that belonged to it for 4 almost decades.
360Training.com, had registered trademark rights over the ‘Tips’ mark since 1983. In 1989, it got the registration of the mark with the USPTO. The company used the mark for its alcohol training program. However, someone else had started, was operating and using the domain name Tips.com.
The domain name, as on the October 12 2021, showed 5 pay-per links. One of those links led to an ‘Alcohol Training’ platform. The company contested that this is clearly a case of bad faith as the respondent used its Trademark to first register a domain name and then use it to benefit from the established goodwill of the company in the industry. Which in this case was the ‘Alcohol Training’ program link. The company then complained to the WIPO.
The respondent contested that they invest in domain names as a digital asset. The registration of the domain name Tips.com wasn’t a bad faith as it was a generic term. Respondent claimed that it had invested in a number of domain names and Tips.com was one of them. Respondent also said that at the time of registration, it had no knowledge about the owners of ‘Tips’ mark. It also stated that once they became aware of the ‘Alcohol Training’ program link, it was stopped.
The panel decided that although the domain name might possibly be registered in a bad faith, it certainly wasn’t used for one. Investing in Domain Names as digital assets is a legitimate venture. The respondent did so. The complainant couldn’t give much evidence of ‘Bad Faith’ use except that one link. The complaint was thus denied.
You can read the full case, here.