Steve Levy ⬥ 29 May
Blue Mountain Coffee, Inc. recently filed a complaint with the National Arbitration Forum (NAF) over the domain name Blue-Mountain-Coffee.com. Unfortunately for Blue Mountain Coffee, the NAF Panelist in this case determined that the Complainant was unable to sufficiently establish its rights to the domain name, and ordered that the domain name remain with the Respondent, the current registrant.
For me, the most interesting part of the Blue Mountain Coffee case was not the fact that the Complainant was actually represented by counsel or even the fact that the Panelist found that no trademark rights existed, but that the Complainant dodged a bullet when the Panelist found no reverse domain name hijacking (RDNH). Citing the Complainant’s belief that it owned trademark rights due to the grant of a license from the Jamaican Coffee Industry Board and its extensive use of the Blue Mountain Coffee name, the Panelist held that the complaint was brought in good faith. This highlights the fact that Panelists are loath to make a ruling of RDNH so, when they do, it’s usually quite a serious matter. This was a close case and I agree with the decision.