eLuggage v CRW Group Ltd [2008] NZDNC 341

[2008] - NZDNC - 341
Dismissed - Rights ; Complainant's Rights

eluggage.co.nz - Dismissed - Rights

Atkins has been running the complainant company for close to 13 years. The New Zealand company was incorporated in 2004. Wright of the respondent has been a customer of the complainant for around two years. The two of them entered into negotiation at one point for Wright to become the NZ distributor of the complainant's products.

Later in the negotiation, Atkins was informed by Wright that the disputed domain name was registered by Wright. The understanding at the time was that eventually Wright would provide for a transfer of the domain name. The relationship between the two parties eventually deteriorated and in one argument, Wright threatened to shut down the website at the disputed domain name. The complainant demanded for the transfer of the domain name and despite initially agreeing, the respondent did not complete the transfer.

The expert found that the complainant had failed to prove that he had rights in a name or mark that was identical or similar to the disputed domain name. While the expert accepted that the right under the Policy did not have to be a trademark right, there had to still be evidence that the complainant has used the claimed name to an extent to create enforceable rights in the name. The marks that the complainant is relying on were not supported by sufficient evidence to have been in use for long.

The expert also found that a simple contractual or trust-based claim that produces no rights to names or marks cannot be relied on.

Link to NZLII Decision


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