Well, it was worth a shot …

Steve Levy ⬥ 25 November

A recent UDRP case featured a complainant who was definitely taking a shot in the dark by trying to get the domain name calibers.com. The complaint was filed with the National Arbitration Forum by Calibers National Shooters Sports Center, LC against W. D. Group Ltd.

The main issues with this case are threefold:

  1. The Complainant only submitted sketchy evidence to support its claim of trademark rights going back to before the domain name was registered. The Respondent points out that the complainant registered the trademark 11 years after the domain name was registered, and that its argument rests on its claim that it has actually used the mark since 1997, a claim for which it provides no evidence.
  2. The word “caliber” is a generic term referring to the size of a gun or rifle bore. Because it is a common and descriptive term, the panel determined that the Complainant does not have an exclusive monopoly on the term on the Internet and that the Respondent can establish rights or legitimate interests in the domain name pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii).
  3. It’s unlikely that the Respondent, in China, would have ever heard of the Complainant, whose business operates only in Albuquerque, NM. The panel notes that the Complainant failed to submit any evidence that its service mark or related services are widely known in China, where the Respondent markets its services, and therefore it is unlikely the Respondent registered the calibers.com domain in bad faith.

Obviously, all of this added up in the Respondent’s favor, leading the panel to deny the complaint in this case.

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