In relation to the second element, the Panel said this (I’ve replaced references to Complainant and Respondent with Pearson and Automattic): “Rights to or Legitimate Interests: … In the instant case the Panel finds that [Automattic] is not commonly known by the disputed domain name. The Panel finds that [Automattic] is using the disputed domain name to redirect internet users to [Automattic’s] competing webpage, which is not a bona fide offering of goods or service or a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the domain name under Policy ¶¶ 4(c)(i) and 4(c)(iii). Allegedly, [Automattic] and [Pearson] were both approached by a third-party for the possible purchase of the domain name, and [Automattic] was the higher bidder, paying 0,000.00 for the domain name.Such a purchase has been considered a bona fide offering of goods under Policy ¶ 4(c)(i) by past panels. Therefore, this Panel considers that [Automattic’s] purchase of the domain name for 0,000.00 could confer rights sufficient for Policy ¶ 4(c)(i) rights and legitimate interests, had adequate evidence to that effect been adduced.The second element of the Panel’s reasoning that I want to zoom in on is this: “[Pearson] claims that [Automattic’s] use of the disputed redirects to a webpage owned by Respondent.
I want to say a few things about this case but I’m not going to get emotional about it nor will I publish any comments that come across as hostile, abusive or potentially defamatory.
My interest is to point out a few things that do not seem prominent in the discussions I’ve seen to date and to do so from a hopefully dispassionate legal perspective.
If you look at the opening wording above, it says “the following circumstances, in particular “.
The listed scenarios are scenarios which will, if proved, indicate bad faith but they do not (in my view) preclude a panel from finding bad faith in other scenarios.
The registrant of a domain name agrees to submit to the dispute resolution process in its contract with the registrant.
The UDRP process is not, however, the only means by which a person can seek a remedy when feeling aggrieved by another person’s registration of a domain name that conflicts with existing trademark rights.
That is the effect of the words “but without limitation”.
I noted at the outset that the UDRP dispute resolution process has it roots in contract.
[Automattic] argues that such use serves as an invitation to Internet users to discuss, object, and debate certain topical issues.
Panels have found rights and legitimate interests where a respondent was hosting a noncommercial website. Yet, here as well, [Automattic] provides nothing more than the invitation to engage in such activities.