Turns out ‘Smart Robotics’ wasn’t that smart after all

Smart Robotics is a company based in the Netherlands indulging in the field of Robotics, as the name would have clearly hinted. The Company was founded in 2015 and operated a website at Smart-Robotics.nl. The Company was discomforted when it became aware of the existence and operation of the domain name Smart-Robotics.com by someone else. 

The Company thus filed a Complaint at WIPO. The Complainant here owns a figurative mark related to the terms in use in the domain name in the EU. The figurative mark contained a blue origami in the left side with words on its right. The words contained SMART ROBOTICS written in large gray fonts. The term ‘MASTERS IN FLEXIBLE AUTOMATION’ is written below it in smaller font and blue color. 

The Respondent had registered the domain name in 2009. The domain name in dispute was connected to a parking page that contained various advertisements with labels such as Robot Kits, Robotic Process Automation Microsoft, I Robot Vacuums, Robotics and Robotics Engineering. The links took you to websites related to the labels. 

The panel noted that using a domain name for PPC links was a fair use of the domain name. According to the registration dates of trademarks and domain names, the domain name registration clearly preceded the other by years. Thus the Complaint was denied. 

The panel however noted that the Complainant was represented by a legal counsel. On this point the counsel should have been aware that there was no chance such a Complaint would have succeeded. The Complainant still went on with the filing of Complaint. The panel hence awarded the Complainant with a RDNH. 

You can read the full case here


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