With the assistance of Ari Goldberger and his ESQwire.com law firm, Nat Cohen’s Telepathy, Inc was victorious in its WIPO defense of the generic domain name Geometric.com. The case was filed by an Indian-based software company whose name contains the generic term “geometric.”
There was a dissenting panelist in this case, who stated his belief that the company employs “a conscious strategy to register the domain name for eventual sale to a potential complainant or competitor, to prevent a trademark registrant from reflecting its name in a corresponding domain name, to disrupt a competitor’s business or to attract Internet users for commercial gain by confusing use of the domain name.”
In my humble opinion, Telepathy owns a tremendous portfolio of generic domain names (including Pennsylvania.com and Maryland.com), and they are in the process of developing its names. It takes a considerable amount of time and effort for each project, and it shouldn’t be assumed that there is bad intent simply because a domain name isn’t developed into a full website.
Fortunately for Telepathy, this panelist was in the minority, and the company was permitted to keep its generic domain name. I find it frustrating that some companies file a WIPO for a generic domain name simply because that particular term is contained within their business name. It seems like they are making a business decision that it is worth the gamble that they could potentially acquire the name at a lower cost via WIPO rather than contacting the owner to pay market value for a generic domain name. There is a good chance they will lose, but if they happen to prevail, they could conceivably save thousands of dollars.
In the WIPO case of Geometric.com, the responding company probably paid a few thousand dollars to defend its domain name, but it was necessary, as previous WIPO decisions may be cited as a history of bad faith. Even if the name wasn’t worth the cost to defend it, the responding company is almost forced to defend the name as a protective measure for other generic names in its portfolio.
Congrats to Nat and Ari, two respected people in the domain industry.