Steve Levy ⬥ 29 April
Apparently, a dime really doesn’t go that far anymore. Chinese online gaming company Tencent Holdings Limited’s recent effort to recover the domain name tencentgames.com, was thwarted by a losing UDRP case.
In its decision, the one-member UDRP Panel noted that there was no conclusive evidence of bad faith usage of the domain by its owner. In addition, the findings noted that Tencent registered its G TENCENT GAMES trademarks a full year after the domain name was created, and that there was no clear evidence that the Respondent could have known about Tencent’s “Tencent Boston” gaming company (that was in the United States) at the time it acquired the domain. Specifically, the panelist noted that the Complainant was not able to meet the third requirement of the UDRP (bad faith by Respondent) and so the Complaint must therefore be denied. It is rather surprising that this wasn’t determined to be a case of reverse domain hijacking, as it so often is when a Complainant’s trademark rights don’t pre-date the creation of the domain.
Cases such as this underscore the importance of carefully selecting which domain names to pursue UDRP action against, promptly registering trademarks, and presenting clear and incontrovertible evidence of infringement in the case proceedings. Of course, an experienced UDRP counsel could have guided the Complainant to a different strategy but it’s game over for now – insert another quarter (or dime) to continue playing.