Panelist denies UDRP claim against four letter .com domain

Panelist made the right call even though the domain owner didn’t respond.

The initialism UDRP for

In some ways, a UDRP panelist’s job is more complicated when a domain owner doesn’t respond to the dispute. The panelist has to hear one side of the story and consider what the other side is. Many panelists just accept the Complainant’s arguments without applying critical thought.

But that wasn’t the case in a dispute (pdf) over lsnb.com. Panelist Matthew Kennedy correctly pointed out that:

  • It’s a four letter domain that can stand for many things
  • There is no evidence that the domain registrant targeted the Complainant

Lone Star National Bank filed the complaint against someone in China.

The bank has a registered mark for LSNB Mobile registered in 2009 (first claimed use 2007) and one for LSNB registered in 2022 (first claimed use 2013).

Kennedy noted that the domain was registered in 2012, which was before the first claimed use of LSNB. As for the earlier trademark:

If the Complainant means to imply that the Respondent targeted part of the LSNB MOBILE mark, the evidence does not allow the Panel to draw such an inference. Although this mark was registered three years earlier than the disputed domain name, and the disputed domain name reproduces this mark’s dominant element, that element consists of four letters that can serve as the initials of multiple combinations of four words unrelated to the Complainant. The Panel does not consider that the Respondent, which is based in China, should be deemed to have notice of the contents of the United States trademark register or to have otherwise generally been aware of (and targeted) the Complainant’s LSNB MOBILE mark. There is no evidence in the record of use of the LSNB MOBILE mark to identify the Complainant or its services prior to the registration of the disputed domain name. There is no evidence that the Respondent has targeted the Complainant or its trademarks, nor that the Respondent has registered other domain names that target other trademarks. Based on this Complaint, the Panel is unable to conclude that the Respondent had the Complainant in mind when it registered the disputed domain name.

Thus, the Complainant didn’t show that the domain was registered in bad faith to target it.

The domain previously resolved to a page saying it was for sale but it no longer resolves. This is one of those cases in which parking the domain with ads could have hurt the domain owner. If the domain pointed to a parked page and algorithms chose banking ads, this case could have turned out differently.

Dykema Gossett PLLC represented the Complainant.

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