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Chanel, Bridget Jones win cybersquatting cases
GENEVA (Reuters) -- Fashion house Chanel, Reuters international news and financial information group and British author Helen Fielding, creator of Bridget Jones, have all won cybersquatting cases, a United Nations agency said on Tuesday.
Independent arbitrators appointed by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) issued decisions ordering contested Internet site names transferred to the three complainants.
WIPO, the U.N. agency that protects trademarks and copyrights, has received more than 1,300 cases of disputed domain names since starting its fast-track arbitration system last December. Decisions have been made in more than half of the cases, with 80 percent of complainants winning back the right to their name.
Chanel, which says more than 2,500 outlets in the United States offer its products, filed the complaint against Estco Technology Group, based in Bethesda, Maryland. Estco, which said it planned an Internet directory for designer fashion retailers, was the first to register the domain names chanelstore.com and chanelfashion.com last year.
But a panel of three arbitrators ruled that these were "confusingly similar" to the famous Chanel trademark.
"The panel finds the respondent is in bad faith because...the respondent is deliberately using complainant's famous trademarks with the aim of misleading the public and siphoning off the 'Chanel' trademark's accumulated good will for profit," it said.
Reuters Mobile wins several names
Since 1998, Reuters has offered mobile data services under the mark Reuters Mobile, which provides customers with remote access to real-time information and news via the Internet.
It filed a complaint against Teletrust IPR Ltd, based in Zoug, Switzerland, which registered the six contested domain names (mobilereuters.com, mobilereuters.net, mobilereuters.org, reutersmobile.com, reutersmobile.net and reutersmobile.org) in December 1999.
The panel accused Teletrust of seeking to attract traffic to its own Web sites and services by improper use of a famous mark, adding that it was "attempting to generate commercial gain by creating confusion."
Bridget Jones novelist won't buy name
In the case of Fielding, whose Bridget Jones novels have sold millions worldwide, the panel found no evidence that the respondent, Anthony Corbert of Plantation, Florida, had used or prepared to use the domain name bridgetjones.com in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services.
As he also offered in an e-mail to sell the disputed site to Fielding for $15,000, this constituted "bad faith," the panel said, and ordered it transferred to the author.
Transfers must be made within 45 days. A decision may be challenged within 10 days.
Copyright 2000 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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