Branding is a vital part of your business. After successful distribution of your product and service in a limited region, you need brand value to expand. This branding depends on several other factors than the service and the product you are providing. Registering domain names related to your brand is one of those factors.
ObserveInc.com is a provider of software-as-a-service (“SaaS”) and information technology services for data visualization and analysis. The company has been operating their business under the Observe name since 2017-18. In 2020-21, it made a big investment In the promotion of the Observe brand. Around a quarter of a Million was spent for this endeavor. However, it was also found that the domain name Observe.com was taken by someone. WIPO’s UDRP counsel was hence sought.
The Agile Wings Limited held Observe.com from 2013. The domain name exchanged hands and came in possession of the Respondent. The Respondent started using the domain name to resolve a single webpage. It also requested to register the OBSERVE trademark in February 2021, claiming usage since 1997.
The panel pointed that the Respondent’s claim of unawareness about the Complainant was not implausible as the Complainant only recently started its branding ventures. The panel said that the domain was registered with a related company way before the Complainant adopted its trademark. Hence, the registration couldn’t be termed as being in Bad Faith.
The Complaint was denied.You can read the full case here