LiteBit.com sold for $50,000 buyer lost a UDRP in 2019

LiteBit.com sold for $50,000 last month. The seller was Shane Kinsch. You can read more about Shane on his website.

The buyer was 2525 Ventures B.V., out of the Netherlands. They own LiteBit.eu and the domain now redirects to LiteBit.eu. What’s interesting is that they tried to get the domain name through UDRP in 2019.

The Complainant has used the name “LiteBit” to supply cryptocurrency services since 2013.

The Complainant owns “tradename” rights under Dutch law in addition to its registered trade marks. The disputed domain name is identical to the Complainant’s trade marks.

The Complainant is well-known in the cryptocurrency market.

The Respondent lacks rights and legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.

The Respondent does not plan to use the disputed domain name for a legitimate commercial offering of goods or services.

The Respondent is not known by the disputed domain name.

The disputed domain name is being used only to offer it for sale for a disproportionate sum and to redirect users.

The Respondent uses a privacy / proxy service to conceal its true identity.

The disputed domain name has been used for PPC links as well as “the possibility to redirect to competitors” of the Complainant. Such use of the disputed domain name is illegitimate.

Given the fame of the Complainant and its position in the cryptocurrency market, the Complainant’s interests in the disputed domain name are “more legitimate” than those of the Respondent.

The disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith.

There is a presumption of bad faith as the disputed domain name is identical to the Complainant’s trade marks.

The following constitute bad faith on the part of the Respondent:

– the Respondent’s failure to comply with the Complainant’s cease and desist letter and the Respondent’s continued offering of the disputed domain name for sale thereafter;
– the Respondent’s offer to sell the disputed domain name for USD 287,500, which exceeds the usual registration costs of a domain name;
– the use of the disputed domain name for automatically generated PPC links, which take undue advantage of the Complainant’s well-known trade marks;
– the failure of the Respondent to provide a credible, evidence-backed rationale for registering the disputed domain name; and
– the Respondent’s use of a privacy service and false contact details including an inactive phone number.

The Respondent was well-aware of the Complainant’s trade mark rights, which is shown by the fame of the Complainant in the European Union, its prominence in Google search results, the appearance of the Complainant’s corporate name within the disputed domain name and the Complainant’s communications to the Respondent, which included a counter-offer by the Respondent.

There is a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s trade marks which may damage the Complainant, e.g., if the Complainant’s customers or potential customers assume that the Complainant owns the disputed domain name and send emails to the Respondent by mistake, or visit the website at the disputed domain name and think that the Complainant has gone out of business or search on the Respondent’s website for the Complainant’s services and find competitors.

Many users of social media and cryptocurrency websites in different countries, including users knowledgeable about cryptocurrency, have wrongly assumed that the Complainant owns the disputed domain name and mistakenly linked to the Respondent’s website as a result.

The Respondent acquired the disputed domain name after much of the above-mentioned confusion had occurred. In these circumstances, it can be assumed that the Respondent acquired the disputed domain name to create a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s trade mark. Such confusion will continue for as long as the Respondent uses the disputed domain name.

The disputed domain name was acquired by the current owner on December 29, 2018, when the registrar changed to “NetraCorp” or, at the earliest, on April 18, 2016, when the IP address of the disputed domain name last changed.

Either way, by the time that the Respondent acquired the disputed domain name, the Complainant possessed trade mark rights, it had become well-known and confusion had occurred.

The disputed domain name has been used for PPC links relating to money exchange services after the Complainant became well-known for those services, specifically cryptocurrency exchanges.

The disputed domain name is therefore being used in the same market as that in which the Complainant operates. It is also being used for complementary services, because faster broadband services can benefit those involved in cryptocurrency trading and mining services.

Turns out the domain was acquired in 2005 long before the company acquired trademark rights.

The domain was defended by John Berryhill and the UDRP went in favor of the respondent.

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