I was looking through the WIPO UDRP filings and saw a UDRP filed against a seemingly generic Costa.com domain name. The UDRP was filed by the company that operates Costa Cruises. While UDRPs going after generic (and valuable) domain names are a relatively rare occurrence, it is still a bit disappointing to see them.
That being said, the cruise company could have a better shot to win this UDRP than other companies have when going after descriptive domain names like this one appears to be. When I visited the domain name yesterday and today, I saw PPC links related to cruises. I can see why Costa Cruises would be upset about the domain name. Depending on the details that will be revealed in the UDRP responses, this could be a tough UDRP to defend.
Domain owners should be cautious when using parked pages. A domain name may be generic in nature, but if PPC links infringe on another entity’s trademarks, it could be problematic for the domain owner. For instance, a domain owner could easily and defensible own Apples.com if it was selling apples or advertising a pick your own apple orchard. What likely would be harder to defend is a PPC lander with links to phones and computers.
PPC technology is pretty good. Parking company tech can show advertising it believes is relevant based on the keywords. Sometimes this doesn’t consider trademark implications, which is obviously something a domain owner should consider. When auto-generated PPC links optimize revenue, they may expose the domain name and domain owner to a legal threat.
For today’s poll, I would like to know if domain owners check all of their PPC pages, none of their PPC pages, or only their pages they believe could be a grey area for trademark issues. If you do something else, that would be interesting to know in the comment section: