The Vincle.com UDRP decision was published this morning, and the complainant won the proceeding. The domain name has been registered by the respondent since 2003. The respondent’s response to the UDRP was late due to travels, but the panelist stated the response was not prejudiced by the tardiness.
In the decision, there was a discussion about whether or not the “vincle” term was generic and whether or not there are other companies using the term “vincle” in their branding. From what I can tell, the panelist was not convinced that the term is generic.
The most notable aspect of this UDRP decision is the panelist’s discussion about pay per click parking:
“In view of the above and since the disputed domain name is pointed to a parking page with sponsored (pay-per-click) links which, by definition, generate revenues for the registrant and/or the registrar, the Panel does not find that the disputed domain name is being used in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services, or for a legitimate noncommercial or fair use without intention to trade off the Complainant’s trademark.”
Later on in the discussion, the panel also wrote the following:
“In light of the circumstances of the case, the Panel also finds that the Respondent’s use of the disputed domain name in connection with a parking page with sponsored links where the disputed domain name is offered for sale does not amount to a good faith use. Indeed, the Panel finds that the Respondent, more likely than not, intentionally attempted to attract Internet users to its website for commercial gain by causing a likelihood of confusion as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement of its website according to paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy.”
I could be wrong, but my interpretation of the panelists’ analysis is that because the panelist felt the vincle term is not generic (or at least that the respondent did not prove that it was generic), PPC links are problematic. From what I can see right now, the PPC links are related to music, which I do not believe has any relationship to the complainant.
From my recollection, panelists generally cite pay per click links as a “strike” against a domain registrant when the actual links appear to be targeting the complainant. In this case, even though the links do not appear to be targeting the complainant, it was still enough to rule against the registrant because it was not proven that the “vincle” term is generic. Although the decision was about more than just the PPC links, I could imagine other panelists might use this interpretation more broadly. It is a UDRP to note.