Wellington Golf Centre Limited v Ricky Faesen Kloet [2013] NZDNC 846

[2013] - NZDNC - 846
Dismissed - Rights ; Complainant's Rights

wellingtongolfcenter.co.nz - Dismissed - Rights

The complainant runs a business in selling golfing products. The complainant registered the domain name <wellingtongolfcentre.co.nz>. The respondent, a competitor of the complainant, registered the disputed domain name one year later. The name is identical to the complainant's domain name except that "centre" is spelt "center" instead.

The complainant had no registered trade mark name and did not provide evidence of unregistered trade mark rights. The complainant claimed that the registration was designed to disrupt the complainant's business and it was likely to mislead, confuse or deceive.

The expert had to decide if the domain name is wholly descriptive. It was found that the domain name was descriptive and no secondary meaning has been established. The test for the descriptiveness is whether it is "equally applicable to any business of the like kind". It was found that in the Wellington area, the golf shops could all be described by that term. The complainant also failed to establish that it had gained a secondary meaning through use. The case was dismissed. The expert noted that the standard for proving unregistered rights was not a high one.

Link to NZLII Decision


DNC news