Nike New Zealand Company v Yi Fang [2010] NZDNC 548

[2010] - NZDNC - 548
Transferred ; Complainant's Rights ; Unfair Registration ; CMD - Transferred

The complainant is a New Zealand company registered in 1991 and is a subsidiary of the international owner of the NIKE brand, who also registered the mark in New Zealand. The domain name was registered in 2008 and the complainant could not locate the respondent when the complainant wanted to press charges against the respondent for selling counterfeit goods. The domain name was resolved at a site selling counterfeit Nike shoes. Around the time of the decision, the site has changed into an information website about the shoes.

There was no response filed by the respondent. The complainant contended that the registration was unfair. NIKE is a registered trade mark and is identical to the domain name.
The expert found that this was an unfair registration. The counterfeit goods clearly made the purpose of the registration unfair as it would exploit the name of the complainant and also divert sales from the complainant and confuse the users.

This case is another example of a domain name not being used to offer goods or services genuinely, as counterfeit goods exploit the complainant's rights.

Link to NZLII Decision

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