IKEA Wins in pimpmyikea.com and Thirty Other Domain Name Challenges

by Lane Powell PC - Intellectual Property Law Blog
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Ikea Systems BV of the Netherlands filed with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) for the transfer of multiple domain names registered by Michael Herman, an individual located in North Carolina. These domains included names such as custom4ikea.com, ikeaaftermarketparts.com, ideaikea.com, pimpmyikea.com, ikeaaftermarket.com, etc. A full list of domains and the Administrative Panel Decision can be found here. Mr. Herman allegedly was using the domains to steer traffic to a website featuring adult content including pornographic pictures, videos and toys.

Mr. Herman did not respond to the complaint filed by Ikea.

The sole panelist writing the Administrative Panel Decision determined that Ikea was, indeed, a famous mark. Therefore, “well known marks with inherent distinctiveness have the right to prevent any use in relation to any goods and services under trade mark law.” In addition, the panelist found that the marks were identical or confusing similarity in that many of the additional terms (idea, aftermarketparts, custom4, etc.) appear to be pertinent to Ikea’s business. (Author’s note: It would be difficult to imagine Ikea using a domain such as pimpmyikea.com notwithstanding.) The panelist found that Mr. Herman did not have any rights or legitimate interests in the Ikea name and that Ikea had not granted consent to use the domains. Finally, the decision confirmed that the domain names were registered and used in bad faith “by using the domain name [the Respondent] has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet Users to [its] website or other on line location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s mark as the source, affiliation or endorsement of [its]website or location or a product or service on [its] website or location.”

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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