Nike isn’t letting shady sites get away with using its trademarks.
On Thursday, IPPro reported that the sportswear brand won the rights to 20 domains with names like Nikeclearanceusastore.com and Nikeairmax97.com in a dispute decided by the World Intellectual Property Organization Arbitration and Mediation Centre.
The Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy complaint, filed in February, states that all 20 domains were registered to a Gueijuan Xu of China. A site that tracks domain name disputes shows that Xu has also been named as the respondent in complaints by brands including Prada, Salvatore Ferragamo and HBI Branded Apparel Enterprises, which owns Champion, dating back to November 2017.
The complaint also states that one of the domains, Nike-trademark.com, was used to impersonate “a high-level legal counsel” within Nike’s team “so as to obtain sensitive information.”
“This clearly indicates a lack of any right of legitimate interest on the part of the respondent,” wrote Wilson Pinheiro Jabur, the panelist responsible for the decision to transfer the domains to Nike. Additionally, he continued, “the complainant’s mark is one of the most valuable trademarks in the world, and the respondent reproduced the complainant’s well-known logo and products in some of the webpages to which internet users are redirected.”
While this marks a victory for the brand, seizing 20 domains is a drop in the bucket in the world of counterfeit websites. In March, Ferragamo won a $60 million lawsuit connected to 150 domains selling knockoff products. And last year, Gucci reportedly won $9 million for close to 100 sites using its trademarks. Neither brand is likely to see any money come of the verdicts, however, since the registrants are generally too hard to track down, leaving them free to tweak their URLs and open up shop again.
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