UDRP Filed Against Booking.com’s DirectBooking.com Domain Name

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I noticed what seems like a bit of a peculiar UDRP filing at the World Intellectual Property Organization. A UDRP was filed against the DirectBooking.com domain name. The case is WIPO Case D2017-2577.

There are a couple of reasons I found this UDRP peculiar and notable. The “direct booking” keyword seems pretty generic to me. Of course, intellectual property can involve generic terms, but this one seems particularly generic.

The other aspect that jumped out at me is that the only “booking” brand I know about is Booking.com. The company has spent a ton of money on marketing, and it is the first and only company I think about when I think of the word booking. Interestingly, Booking.com is the owner of the DirectBooking.com domain name. In fact, using the DomainTools Whois history tool, I can see that Booking.com has owned this domain name since early to mid 2016. The domain name is not resolving for me. If I had to guess what company filed this UDRP, it would have been Booking.com, but they already own it!

The complainant in this UDRP is listed as Mr Pierre Chapoutot. I did a Google search for this entity, and I didn’t see any results that would indicate why the UDRP was filed. I did a couple of Whois searches with the directbooking phrase, and it looks like the complainant owns the DirectBooking.net domain name. That domain name currently resolves to a parked page with advertising links on it.

I presume Booking.com will defend its right to own the domain name and I don’t see anything to indicate that the company will lose the UDRP. I think this is a peculiar UDRP filing, and it will be interesting to learn more about it when the decision is published.

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