This is a time for coronavirus crisis, while most of the world has come to standstill but WIPO is continuing with the UDRP proceedings. And the genuine domain registrant could be worst hit like GEN.com owner.
It can be observed that this three-letter domain name GEN.com, registered since 1996, belongs to someone from New York USA, which is one of the worst-hit areas, during the crisis. Therefore, a proper response could be a challenge from the domain owner of GEN.com.
The complainant in the matter is Chilean based company Agencias Universales SA, whose parent company is Grupo Empresas Navieras (G.E.N.), currently having a website at www.gen.cl. Agencias Universales SA owns various variations of ‘GEN’ trademarks under class 38, mostly registered since 2006 in the country of Chile.
Though success in the case of three-letter (3L) domain names is very low as is it understood from various principles laid down under UDRP precedents, and most matters are held to be that’s of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking (RDNH):
In the matter of Universidad Privada De Madrid, S.A. (UNIVERSIDAD ALFONSO X EL SABIO -UAX) v. Vince Harasymiak, Domain Capital [Case No. D2019-2925; UAX.com], it was laid down:
On the facts of this particular case, the Respondent’s wish to invest in and resell an inherently valuable three-letter domain name seems to the Panel to be a reasonable activity that does not appear to be motivated or actuated by bad faith or, for that matter, to have been willfully blind to the rights of others. As the panel noted in S.P.C.M. SA v. Whois Privacy Services Pty Ltd / Vertical Axis Inc., Domain Administrator, WIPO Case No. D2014-0327, with reference to various decisions under the Policy, carrying on business in registering descriptive or generic domain names is not of itself objectionable, nor is offering such domain names for sale.
Furthermore, the Panel here agrees with the general remarks of the panel in SK Lubricants that “a three-letter acronym of this type is likely to be of general application to many interested parties, and no one party is likely to be able to claim a monopoly on use of the acronym in all fields of activity. In these circumstances, the Panel sees no reason why imputed knowledge of a particular registered trademark in a specific field should have precluded the Respondent […] from subsequently keeping and offering for sale the Domain Name”.
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