Popular Online content streaming houses and production houses have waged a legal campaign against torrent related platforms. Considering the legal fight that many of the torrent entities would have to endure, they sought relief from legal entities. This provides a new segment of clients for the Law companies. So lucrative is this segment, that two Law firms entered into a dispute regarding a domain name related to this segment.
Two law firms had approached WIPO regarding the domain name TorrentDefenders.com. The Complainant was Law Offices of Jeffrey J. Antonelli, Ltd., Inc. dba Antonelli Law, Ltd. The Respondent was The Law Offices of Stephen C. Vondran, P.C. Both the Complainant and the Respondent provide legal aid to parties accused of Intellectual Property violations including the ones related to the uploading bitTorrent files.
The Complainant claimed trademark right over TORRENT DEFENDERS mark, obtained in 2019. The Complainant also operates a blog at the domain name Torrent-Defenders.com. The Respondent had registered the domain name in 2016. The Respondent used the domain name to redirect it to vondranlegal.com/bittorrent-defense-lawyer/.
The panel found that the Respondent had registered the domain name before the registration of trademark by the Complainant. The Respondent had been using the domain name in relation to describe the functions of the platform, that does provide defense to people related with Torrenting. Thus, it can be established that Respondent had not registered and neither is using the domain name in bad faith. The Complaint was denied.
The panel also pointed out that the Complaint itself deals with IP cases. The registration of the related trademarks by the Complainant at a later date than the Respondent should have stopped the Complainant from filing a complaint. The
You can read the full case here.