Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Philippines domain name case


Domain name cases from SE Asia are growing in number as the expanding markets and consumer power increase the importance of marketing channels. The INTA Bulletin this month reports on the WIPO domain name arbitration over www.sulit.ph, claimed to be a cybersquatting infringement of the well known interactive classified advertising portal www.sulit.com.ph 

The case of Netrepreneur Connections Enterprises Inc. v. Anton Sheker, Seo.Com.Ph, Case No. DPH 2011-0003 however did not go as expected. Whilst the domain name www.sulit.com.ph is registered as a trademark, and while the defendant redirected traffic to his other legitimate website www.classifiedads.ph, the panel found there were weak trademark rights in SULIT which means 'a great deal', that there was no clear proof of bad faith and, it couldn't be concluded that the defendant had no legitimate interest.

The case smacks of having insufficient evidence, which is one if the difficulties with domain name disputes and all the more reason to use investigations and fully prepare such cases before they are filed.

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