Nike victorious in domain name dispute

In April 2016 Nike, who registered its first trademark in the US  in 1974, discovered that an individual, Sune Stilling, had registered the domain name in 1999 and immediately filed a complaint to the American Alternative Dispute Resolution Forum.

The Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy laid out by ICANN states that in order to be successful in gaining rightful ownership of another’s domain name, you would need to prove that the registered name is identical to or could be mistaken for your trademark, that the name is not being used in good faith and that the current owner of the name has “no rights or legitimate interests” regarding the name.

According to Trademarks and Brands Online, upon inspection Nike discovered that the registered website was inactive meaning that as well as infringing on their trademark, the name was also being used in bad faith and the owner evidently had no interest in it.
The forum ruled in favour of transferring the domain name to Nike in this instance as the corporate giant had been able to prove that the name in question met all of the aforementioned requirements.

It is a common misconception that domain name ownership is equivalent to owning a trademark and therefore grants the owner trademark rights. However, a domain name can be registered as  a trademark if it acts as a source indicator for the goods or services that the company provides.

In this increasingly digitalised world, companies have to remain vigilant  in order to protect their brands from infringement. By owning a trademark for your goods you would be able to enforce your trademark rights both on and offline giving your brand a greater level of protection as well as increasing its value.

For advice and more information on searching, acquiring, registering and enforcing Trademarks please visit our website, http://www.lipex.comOur unique database of trademarks for sale or license could save you time and help protect your brand.