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The Name and Complaint.
We have a LLLL.net domain we have just received a WIPO Complaint about from a German company that has never contacted us before and that we had no previous knowledge of.
The primary basis of their Complaint is the assumption that the name is made up and 'is an artificial word/name not bearing any inherent meaning' - in actual fact it is a generic Indonesian word (which is why we registered it) and it also appears to be a surname. Supporting the latter the .com version of our name is a developed site for a Canadian Ltd contracting company registered as "FirstName LastName Ltd" - where the last name (.com) is their web address and the .com version of our .net name.
WhitePages.com lists 22 instances of the Surname in their database. So, it's not a hugely common last name but nevertheless it exists.
Our reason for registering this LLLL.net name is because it is generic and adult in nature. We own almost a dozen other .net or .com generic adult Indonesian names including the words for 'girls', 'adult', 'nude', 'transvestite' and others. It has always been our intention to develop these sites but until now we have parked them.
Examination of the Sedo stats for our LLLL.net name shows that approx 36% of the traffic is from the US, 31% is from Indonesia, 9.5% is from Germany, 2.1% from France and so on.. It is well known that a significant Indonesian diaspora is scattered around the world, particularly in North America and Europe so it is likely that a hefty portion of the German traffic is in fact overseas Indonesians looking for this generic Indonesian term. Regarding Registered Trademarks.
The complainant does have registered trademarks - none of them contain the LLLL acronym on it's own but instead LLLL acronym plus a generic word. Some of their trademarks are registered after the date of registration of our domain, some before. Needless to say this is the first time we have ever heard of this company and none of us speak German or have ever visited that country - our Europe for that matter. The Complainant also claims to have 3000 employees, 50,000 retail partners in 24 European countries, and uses more than 1300 external courier drivers. Note: we have not verified these claims.
The second primary basis the Complainant is attempting to use in their case is that at one stage the domain was listed for sale on Sedo.de (and therefore as they claim we acted in bad faith) - note that we use Sedo.com (English) and have never intentionally listed any of our generic Indonesian names for sale. We have an email request sent to Sedo requesting that any names containing a 'for sale' link have the feature removed. Further we have never received any 'offers' or inquiries for this name in the past. And NEVER received any form of communication from the Complainant or their representatives prior to the receipt of this WIPO complaint. In the Interests of Legitimate Domain /img/avatar4.jpgs.
The domain is actually a fairly marginal name for us, however the actions of this particular firm and their legal firm fail to impress us. In fact we are VERY unimpressed. Rather than simply roll over, and in the interests of our reputation and that of other legitimate domain /img/avatar4.jpgs, we want to defend it. We have already started collating references and material in our defense and believe there is a strong likelihood of us winning. Rather than represent ourselves we are looking for a Domain Law firm that wants to rubber stamp the defense, put a win under their belt and give these people a bloody nose in the process. We don't know much about the Legal firm advising the Complainant but assume a win against them would make any law firm proud.
We have and can do a lot of the leg work particularly if it keeps costs down. At this stage primarily we need examples of cases in which names have successfully been defended even though they have been listed for sale. (Note: we never intended to list this name for sale, demonstrating that though may not be straight forward - but we're still working on it.
If there are any up and coming domain law firms hungry for a win out there that are interested in taking this on please let us know via PM...
I speak german, mind to share the email?(don't promise to help, ok?) :-).
But IMO, it looks like a Sedo prob to me...their right hand is not knowing what the left hand is doing.....besides that, try to contact jberryhill, he is the best lawyer (if your case stands ground).
Good luck mate.
You'll probably need to contact one of them, rather than the other way around. http://www.namepros.com/legal-issues...me-issues.html.
If this does end up going to WIPO can you update us here on the outcome? Would be curious to follow the story...
There are a sticky in this section with a few names to contact: http://www.namepros.com/legal-issues...me-issues.html..
The devil will not enter your house. You have to invite him in...
Hint Hint Hint OP (hongbao),now it's time to invite the "devil" :-).
Cheers guys, still got a week to submit the response. will take a while to play out fully yet. have submitted myself to the devil. folder of supporting material grown considerably - gasp..