A major hotel chain has obtained the transfer of over 1500 domain names in just one WIPO complaint.
German resident Daniel Kirchof owns over 70,000 domain names. The complaint in question relates to 1,542 domain names with the complainant being InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG).
The WIPO’s UDRP allows numerous domains to be settled in one complaint as long as the domains are held by one person as well as allowing companies to join together for complaints.
“The use of the disputed domain names in this manner cannot be considered use in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services.” said the panel. “Attempting to attract internet users through misuse of a well-known trade mark, and the provision of links which promote goods and services competitive to, cannot be considered a bona fide use.”
“The fact that this proceeding has been brought in relation to over 1,500 domain names which contain the trade marks, makes it clear that [Kirchhof] has engaged in a pattern of registering domain names in order to prevent a trade mark owner from reflecting their mark in a corresponding domain name…the Panel’s view is further supported by the fact that [Kirchhof] owns a vast array of other domain names. This is clear evidence of bad faith…the present case presents a text book example of the type of bulk registration strategy to which UDRP process and jurisprudence is having to adapt in order to keep pace with the broader developments and registration trends within the domain name system.”
Of the 1,542 domains that were complained about a total of 1,519 were transferred.