These Aren’t The ANDROIDS You’re Looking For…

Steve Levy ⬥ September 16

Internet giant Google, despite having what must surely be an almost unlimited legal budget and no qualms about taking its foes to court, continues to make good use of the UDRP again and again. Not only does this demonstrate Google’s domain name savvy, but also the fact that the UDRP is one of the most effective means of recovering a domain name, even when cost may not be an issue.

In one of its most recent UDRP cases, Google was able to successfully recover the domain name after filing a complaint with the National Arbitration Forum (NAF) against Zharkov Maxim. Google had originally included the domain name and the respondent Aleksey Lebedev in the complaint, but later withdrew them and they were dismissed from the proceedings.

At the heart of Google’s complaint was its issue with the domain’s use of the ANDROID name which is the subject of hundreds of trademark applications and registrations throughout the world, and is the marquis brand for Google’s immensely popular mobile device operating system.  The ANDROID mark has become world famous amongst customers for smart phone and tablets, as well as developers who create software for such devices.

While it must certainly be daunting to find yourself going head to head with a behemoth like Google, this respondent had no problems responding to the complaint with his own set of contentions in defense of his registration of the domain name. He went on at length about his website associated with the domain name, which features information and mobile application downloads.

Eventually, though, after sifting through all of the facts, the NAF Panel’s findings led it to side with Google, taking into account Android’s popularity, Google’s commercial use of the ANDROID trademark, as well as Zharkov’s registration of the domain name well after Google’s use of the mark, receipt of click-through fees, and his attempt to imitate Google’s logo with the logo used on his website.

All of the above led the NAF Panel to believe that Zharkov knew of and was trying to pass himself off as Google and that he had indeed registered and was using the domain name in bad faith – one of the major components of any successful UDRP decision. While Zharkov clearly didn’t go down without a fight, the evidence was overwhelmingly against him in this case.

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