Wasn’t Stuart Lawley Supposed to Protect Brand Names from All of This? KateSpade.xxx Ordered Transferred to Designer Retailer

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Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t the big selling point of .XXX domains, that there wouldn’t be poachers of brand names?

GENEVA — from www.xbiz.com – Designer retailer Kate Spade was victorious in its pursuit on having KateSpade.xxx handed over to the New York-based company.

In an arbitration decision released today, neutrals ruled that KateSpade.xxx registrant Ming Tuff purchased the domain name in bad faith and have ordered it transferred.

Tuff, who was a no-show at the arbitration hearing, also is alleged to have registered 172 .XXX domain names that include “many other third-party trademarks as part of the domain names,” Kate Spade counsel said in a brief.

“[Kate Spade] contends that [Tuff] has engaged in a pattern of behavior that involves registering “infringing domain names,” counsel said in its arbitration complaint.

Kate Spade counsel learned of the 172 .XXX domain names that include third-party trademark acquired by Tuff through a Whois reverse lookup. Some of the other domains ordered by Tuff during .XXX’s initial rollout in December 2011 include Legos.xxx, Dannon.xxx, AbsoluteVodka.xxx, Hellmans.xxx, Shopify.xxx and Wachovia.xxx.

Arbitrators with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center said in its decision that Tuff “was likely quite aware of the trademarks prior to registration of the disputed domain name” and that the registration was used in bad faith.

“It is beyond the realm of reasonable possibilities that respondent’s registration of all of these domain names during the same time period, using third party trademarks, was by pure chance,” neutrals ruled.

Kate Spade has about 200 retail outlets in the U.S. and globally, from San Francisco to Shanghai. It sells in brick-and-mortar stores and online an array of bright colorful items, including handbags, clothing, jewelry, shoes, stationery, eyewear, baby, fragrance, tabletop, bedding and gifts.


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