In a recent cybersquatting case, Qatar tourism council wins over VisitQatar.com

Published on : Saturday, November 16, 2019

Qatar National Tourism Council has bagged a UDRP it filed against the domain name VisitQatar.com.

 

It’s a boring case. The discussion of the first prong of UDRP, whether or not the domain is same or confusingly similar to a mark in which the Complainant has rights, clocks in at an enormous 4,842 words!

 

The owner of the domain is based in Azerbaijan. He developed an easy to manage travel booking website on VisitQatar.com. Also, the owner obtained a U.S. trademark for “Visit Qatar”.

 

Regardless of his efforts, the three-person panel came to a decision that the Respondent registered the domain to target the Complainant. Therefore, all of his activities were just a trick, nothing else. It questioned his trustworthiness and wrote:

 

“Taking all of this as a whole, the Panel reaches the conclusion the Respondent registered the Disputed Domain Name with a view to selling it at a substantial profit to the body responsible for promoting tourism in Qatar and which was already active under the “visitqatar” term on social media. He then proceeded cautiously and set about putting in place measures to legitimize the Disputed Domain Name and defend any UDRP proceeding. These included linking the Disputed Domain Name to a working (but rudimentary) travel related website and seeking a US trademark registration…”
The three-person team found in favor of the tourism agency.

 

If the UDRP was designed to manage and clear cases of cybersquatting, this case was anything but.

 

It’s a rare loss for domain attorney John Berryhill, who represented the Respondent.

 

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