In the world of online domains and trademarks, disputes often arise over similar names. Today, we dive into a unique case involving two domain names that sound strikingly similar – ScoopSoliders.com and ScoopSoldier.com. These names have been at the center of a heated battle, and the decision rendered by the panel is nothing short of intriguing.
The dispute centers around the domain name ScoopSoldier.com. In 2019, the Complainant registered the service mark SCOOP SOLDIERS with the USPTO for their pet waste removal services and even began using the domain name ScoopSoldiers.com. They’ve been conducting business under the SCOOP SOLDIERS mark in Arizona since 2020.
However, things took an unexpected turn in 2022 when the Respondent started using the disputed domain name, ScoopSoliders.com. This domain name is a singular form of the Complainant’s mark and domain name. Interestingly, ScoopSoliders.com directs users to the website PoopyDoo.com.
The Complainant alleges that the Respondent is trying to confuse the public by making them believe that PoopyDoo.com is somehow related to ScoopSoldiers.com. On the other hand, the Respondent claims that PoopyDoo.com is a local family business established in 2005, and the use of ScoopSoliders.com was a mere oversight.
- The Complainant registered the service mark SCOOP SOLDIERS in 2019.
- The Complainant started using the domain name ScoopSoldiers.com in connection with their pet waste removal services.
- The Respondent began using the similar domain name ScoopSoliders.com in 2022, which directs users to PoopyDoo.com.
- The Complainant alleges that the Respondent is attempting to confuse the public.
- The Respondent claims that PoopyDoo.com is a separate local business and the use of ScoopSoliders.com was unintentional.
The panel, consisting of Mr. Alan L. Limbury (Chair), Mr. David S. Safran, and Mr. Charles A. Kuechenmeister, carefully considered the arguments presented by both parties.
- The Complainant’s assertion that they have been doing business under the SCOOP SOLDIERS mark in Arizona since 2020 was not supported by evidence.
- Both the Complainant’s mark and the disputed domain name are descriptive in nature, describing the business activities of both parties.
- The Respondent’s registration of the domain name three years after the Complainant’s trademark and domain name does not necessarily indicate bad faith.
- The Respondent’s use of the domain name to redirect to PoopyDoo.com was not deemed bad faith either.
In a surprising twist, the panel decided to deny the Complainant’s claim. They found that there was insufficient evidence to suggest that the Respondent registered the domain name in bad faith to target the Complainant. Furthermore, the descriptive nature of the domain name and the subtle difference between “soldiers” and “soldier” suggested an innocent intention on the part of the Respondent.
This case serves as a reminder that not all domain name disputes are clear-cut, and sometimes, descriptive domain names can lead to unexpected outcomes. It also highlights the importance of providing substantial evidence in such cases. In the end, ScoopSoliders.com managed to scoop up a favorable decision, leaving both parties with valuable lessons about the intricacies of domain name disputes.
Read the case in detail here: https://www.adrforum.com/domaindecisions/2053790.htm