WIPO Loses Domain Name to Florida Company|
posted by Mueller on Friday April 01 2005, @05:03AM
In a stunning UDRP decision, a three-person NAF panel transferred the domain wipo.int from the World Intellectual Property Organization to a Boca Raton, Florida manufacturer of baby wipes.
The company Paper Partners has a US trademark on the word "WIPO" for "BABY WIPES, PRE-MOISTENED COSMETIC WIPES, AND DISPOSABLE WIPES IMPREGNATED WITH CHEMICALS OR COMPOUNDS FOR PERSONAL HYGIENE OR PERSONAL USE."
The panel, consisting of Michael Froomkin, Milton Mueller and Diane Cabell, noted in its decision that the international organization's own reports had repeatedly emphasized the unimportance of the top-level domain in determining confusing similarity. Bad faith was found because the organization is more commonly known by its French acronym "OMPI;" "clearly," the panel wrote, "respondent registered this name simply to prevent the trademark holder from benefiting from it."
A visibly shaken Francis Gurry, Executive Director of the international organization, complained that "opponents of this organization have abused the domain name dispute resolution process to silence us."