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Panel Allows Woman to Keep Domain Name That Is Her First Name

Domain Name: grazia.us; Case: Arnoldo Mondadori Editore S.p.A. v. Grazia Solazzi, No. FA 1323771 (Nat’l. Arb. Forum June 23, 2010).

In this action under the usTLD Dispute Resolution Policy (which mirrors the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy), Complainant sought transfer of the Domain Name grazia.us. Complainant, an Italian company, has used the mark GRAZIA for many years in several markets around the world in connection with its fashion magazine.

Respondent registered the Domain Name in 2008, but as of the time of the dispute, had not established a website there. Importantly, though, Respondent’s first name is Grazia. And she was able to demonstrate that she had plans to start a food blog at the domain.

So the Panel denied the complaint. It found that Respondent had rights or legitimate interests in the Domain Name because through the use of her name in reference to her journalistic activities and projects, she had become commonly known by the Domain Name.

The Panel also found that Respondent had made demonstrable preparations to use the Domain Name prior to receiving notice of the dispute, and that such preparations were to use the Domain Name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services.

Because Respondent had rights and legitimate interests in the Domain Name, the Panel concluded that she did not register or use it in bad faith. On this point the Panel cited Lockheed Martin Corp. v. The Skunkworx Custom Cycle, D2004-0824 (WIPO Jan. 18, 2005) (finding that the issue of bad faith registration and use was moot once the panel found the respondent had rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name) and Vanguard Group Inc. v. Investors Fast Track, FA 863257 (Nat. Arb. Forum Jan. 18, 2007) (“Because Respondent has rights and legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, his registrations is not in bad faith.”).

By Evan D. Brown, Attorney

Evan focuses on technology and intellectual property law at the law firm of Neal & McDevitt. He maintains a law and technology focused blog at evan.law and is a Domain Name Panelist with the World Intellectual Property Organization deciding cases under the UDRP.

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But this will still be unfair Virendra Gandhi  –  Jun 27, 2010 2:36 AM

The problem of one Grazia is solved but what about other Grazia’s in US and for that matter in other countries where only one Grazia can have the Domain name.
It’s time the address analogy is brought up front

And what about Grazia the company Virendra Gandhi  –  Jun 28, 2010 2:16 AM

They are also named high and dry. Actually This is where the international/country laws should step in.If this Company Grazia is incorporated than those laws should be followed. Clearly the net has to go forward and sort out these issues.

What about other Grazias? Daniel R. Tobias  –  Jun 30, 2010 12:00 AM

Well, the rule has always been “first come, first served” with regard to different people or companies with a particular name.  You do get multiple chances with different TLDs.  An Italian company named Grazia can register grazia.it if nobody else has it already, and that would make more sense than a .us domain.

What if .it TLD is taken? Virendra Gandhi  –  Jun 30, 2010 2:33 AM

The constraint here is that only one user can register, others are left high and dry. It’s time that this problem is solved.

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