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Waterfront calls for domain name panelists to pick up gauntlet of True Religion

Oct 8, 2013

Waterfront Partner Matthew Harris has commented on jeans maker, True Religion’s loss in a Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) decision in the World Intellectual Property Review.

True Religion failed to transfer the domain name “truereligion.com”, in a World Intellectual Property Organization case which raises issues about the rules for bad faith registration and use. The domain name was originally registered by Ibrahim Ali Ibrahim Abu-Harb - before True Religion was set up – to promote Islam.  But he has since profited from the considerable traffic that has come to the site, searching for the True Religion brand.

The case split the Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy panel, with Scott Donahey, a domain name arbitrator submitting a dissenting opinion. He laid down the gauntlet to fellow panellists, defying them to provide evidence that the NDRP policy was designed to allow people to “use a domain name to target a trademark and profit from its goodwill, so long as at the time that the domain name was registered, the registrant had no intention of doing so.”

Matthew Harris said it will be “interesting to see whether anyone picks up the challenge. Scott is a very well respected panellist and someone should take him up on that challenge.”

More information about the True Religion case and its implications can be found here.

Matthew is the Joint Head of Intellectual Property and Dispute Resolution at Waterfront. He is a WIPO, Nominet and CAC domain name panellist who has decided approximately 250 domain name cases.  He is also one of only seven UK lawyers appointed by WIPO as a Legal Rights Objection Expert.