Respondent had rights or legitimate interests in domain name where it established site critical of Complainant

Respondent acquired the domain names <newmandenneypc.com> and <louisnewmanesq.com> to establish criticism websites. The Panel denied the Complaint, finding that the Complainant failed to establish the first and second elements under the UDRP.

As for the first element, the Panel found that the Complainant failed to establish secondary meaning of the marks comprising the disputed domain names. A screenshot of the Complainant’s website from 2010 showing the Complainant’s establishment, and a media article mentioning Complainant were not enough to demonstrate the marks had acquired distinctiveness.

The Panel further determined that the Complainant failed to make a prima facie showing that the Respondent lacked rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain names. It found that the Respondent’s establishment of websites to criticize the Complainant was consistent with a noncommercial or fair use, and thus Respondent had rights or legitimate interests in the domain names.

 

Newman and Denney P.C. v. David Schorr, (NAF) Claim Number: FA1510001643577