Out-Law / Your Daily Need-To-Know

Easyjet loses battle for Easy-jet.com

Out-Law News | 30 Aug 2000 | 12:00 am | 1 min. read

UK airline Easyjet has lost a case before the Arbitration and Mediation Centre of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) in which it attempted to recover the name easy-jet.com from a man who claimed to be a seller of ink jet printer cartridges.

The airline argued before the WIPO Panel that the domain name “Easy-jet.com” is identical to its trade marks for “Easyjet” which are registered in numerous countries, including the UK. It said that Tim Holt, the owner of the domain name, had no rights or legitimate interests in the name and that the registration and use of the name was in bad faith.

There is presently no web site for easy-jet.com. Easyjet argued that there is no evidence that Holt runs or intends to run a business selling ink jet refills, despite his claim to the contrary and support of his claim by a written statement from his witness, Ms Buffy Hagerman.

Easyjet said the registration was in bad faith, pointing to the use of “Tim H” as the registration name, and the use of an allegedly false address in the US. Holt denied any bad faith and said the US address was legitimate. Easyjet also claimed that Tim Holt’s intention was to sell the domain name, but it appears that his willingness to sell only became apparent when Easyjet approached Holt, not vice versa.

The WIPO panel considered that the name easy-jet.com was identical or confusingly similar to Easyjet’s trade marks; but it found insufficient grounds to doubt Holt’s assertion that he would be using the site for his ink jet cartridge business and found no evidence of bad faith registration or use of the name. Accordingly, the panel decided that Holt was entitled to keep the domain name.