Justice Prevails – Scuba.net.au

It’s wonderful when justice and commonsense prevail in domain name disputes.

Just over a month ago, I wrote this story about an auDRP complaint on the domain name Scuba.net.au. I felt that the Complaint had no foundation, and so it has turned out.

This is an excellent auDRP decision by John Swinson in favour of the Respondent (who is the registrant of the domain name scuba net au). He also found that the Complaint was brought in bad faith and constitutes an abuse of the administrative proceeding.

Summation

“The Complainant knew that “scuba” was a dictionary term used by many dive businesses. The Complainant knew from the beginning that the disputed domain name was generic and that the disputed domain name described the activities for which the Respondent used it. The Complainant knew that the Respondent registered the disputed domain name many years before the Complainant existed. The Complainant knew that the Respondent operated a legitimate scuba dive business, established before the Complainant existed. Moreover, the Complainant (who was advised by a specialist trademark firm) would know that its ESCUBA trademark was limited and was unlikely to cover use by others of the word SCUBA, and that the Respondent’s registration and use of the disputed domain name could not, under any fair interpretation of the facts, constitute bad faith.

The Respondent has used the disputed domain name for the whole period that the Complainant has existed, being 12 years, and during that time, there is no evidence that the Complainant has protested the Respondent’s ownership or use of the disputed domain name until the filing of the present Complaint. In recent times, the Complainant has had other issues with the Respondent, and the Complaint appears to have been brought for collateral purposes.

The Panel declares that the Complaint was brought in bad faith and constitutes an abuse of the administrative proceeding.”

The full decision can be read here: Decision DAU2022-0023-1 Scuba

 

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