A UDRP was filed against the Candi.com domain name at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The complainant in this UDRP is a company called Candi Controls, Inc. The UDRP is WIPO Case D2016-0818.
Candi.com is a domain name that has a creation date of May 28, 2002. It was actually registered prior to 2002 to a company called Confectionery and Novelty Design International, LLC, which I presume used it because its initials are “CANDI.”
According to DomainTools, a Texas entity appears to have become the registrant in 2002, and the domain name became privately registered at some point in late 2010 or early 2011. The Whois registration information is still private, so I am not sure who currently owns the domain name.
I visited Candi.com, and I was redirected to another website in what I believe is a zero click landing page monetization.
The complainant (Candi Controls, Inc.) uses CandiControls.com for its url. The company simply uses “Candi” for its logo branding, and it refers to itself as “Candi” on many parts of its website. The CandiControls.com domain name has a creation date of July 22, 2009.
One issue that Candi Controls will have is that “candi” is a word and a name. According to the USPTO, there are quite a few registered trademarks that are either entirely the “candi” term or contain the “candi” term, such as “eye candi,” “rare candi,” “military candi,” and “play candi.” I am not a legal expert by any stretch, but in my opinion, it will be difficult to prove to a UDRP panelist that the domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith with respect to the complainant.
It is also worth noting that there are at least two UDRPs pending (Meryl.com UDRP and Bellhops.com UDRP) where the domain names use zero click landing pages for parking income. Off the top of my head, I can’t think of other decisions involving keyword or name domain names that use zero click landers for monetization, so it will be interesting to follow these three ongoing UDRP cases.
Once I see when this UDRP is decided, I will publish an update.
Update: As of July 16th, UDRPSearch.com is showing “complaint denied.” The decision has not yet been published.
Elliot, what are zero click landers?
When you type in a url (such as Candi.com) and instead of ending up on a Candi.com landing page, you are immediately redirected elsewhere.
Sedo’s help pages says this about zero click:
“As an additional feature of Sedo´s Parking Program, you can benefit from revenue generated by your domain with Zero Click too. If your domain is eligible for Zero Click a visitor will directly see a targeted advertiser landing page once the visitor views your domain.”
This is a Jeff Baron domain. He’s used many different corporate domains over the years. And has been involved in all kinds of federal litigation over the rather unsavory portion of his portfolio. This one seems defensible, however, depending on how it’s been previously used.
What criteria do these UDRP panels use?
The creation date of the domain, as in this one, 2002, or a newer date, if the domain has been purchased by the current owner.
In any case (no pun intended), I can’t see bad faith in “this” case. But I’m definitely not an expert in these matters.
Complainant needs to prove all 3 things to win a UDRP:
The domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights
The domain owner has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name
The domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
Thank you — I’m aware of the criteria you provided.
However, I often see persons decry unfavorable UDRP decisions, citing, for example, “But this domain was created in 2001, and the complainant did not even start his/her company or file a trademark or use date until 2011”
What gets left out of this public outcries: the domain may have been created in 2001, but it may have been purchased on the aftermarket at a premium price in 2012 by a shrewd domainer, eg,
This is hypothetical, and not based on facts.
Let’s say the domain Facebook.com was “created” in 1997.
The company Facebook launches its site with thefacebook.com in 2003-2004?
A person acquires the domain facebook.com for $50,000, and has either no site or a site with a Domain For Sale on it, but with no links for social networking sites, including Facebook
The company Facebook grows, receives more funding, and would like to buy facebook.com
Could this be perceived as “bad faith” registration by the new owner of facebook.com?
And if yes, why didn’t Facebook go this route?
If no, what if the new owner of the domain facebook.com had contacted the company Facebook about trying to sell the name or had ad links on the site that were in the class of Facebook’s business offering and/or trademark?
Would this now be considered “bad faith”?
I think it depends on usage. If the name isn’t being used in bad faith (ie being monetized to try and trick people looking for “Facebook”) they would not win.
Facebook is a brand though, so it’s not an ideal example.
Let’s say Apple didn’t buy Apple.com but an apple orchard did buy it many years ago. The owner of Apple.com could use the domain name in a manner that doesn’t infringe on the tech company’s trademarks. They could sell apples and apple sauce, but they would likely run into trouble if they started selling technology products – possibly even if they sold phone cases with apples on them.
This is NOT a legal opinion – just my own thoughts based on following the business.