When I write about a WIPO decision, more often than not, I prefer to discuss generic domain names, and I usually take the side of the registrant/respondent. In the case of the recent WIPO decision for the domain name GodaddysGirls.com, I would like to commend the complainant, Godaddy.
In my opinion, the domain name GodaddysGirls.com is infringing upon Godaddy’s trademark, “Godaddy.” I have no legal background, so this is just my opinion. Also, knowing about Godaddy CEO Bob Parsons, I wouldn’t have been shocked if he created a special website in honor of Godaddy’s Girls. (See video clip below for more on that.)
Aside from the fact that the registrant was using the term “Godaddy” in the domain name, according to the WIPO filing, the registrant would “redirect Internet users to sponsored links to a number of pornographic websites.” Clearly this isn’t something Godaddy would condone, so of course, they wanted to stop it.
In the decision released today, I want to highlight a few noteworthy things Godaddy did prior to the filing. First, Godaddy didn’t immediately file a WIPO dispute or a lawsuit under the Lanham Act once they became aware of the usage of this domain name. Godaddy “contacted Respondent with a cease and desist and transfer demand,” which the respondent rejected. I think this was a reasonable request, and it could have saved all parties time and money if it was accepted.
The rejection could have pissed Godaddy off enough to immediately file a dispute, but instead, they “indicated that it was willing to purchase the domain name from Respondent at a “reasonable price.” I don’t know of many companies who would be willing to pay for a domain name it believes is being used in bad faith after having a cease and desist letter flatly rejected, so I was impressed with this overture.
It was only after these two attempts to amicably resolve this were rejected that Godaddy proceeded with filing a WIPO dispute. In the decision released today, the domain name was ordered to be transferred to Godaddy.
Detractors may say that Godaddy took those actions to save money. While that may have been the case, I believe they first took reasonable steps to get this domain name back, and only used the WIPO dispute process as a last resort.
I am just an outsider looking in on this, but in this day and age of companies filing legal actions first and asking questions after, I believe Godaddy did the honorable thing and should be commended.