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Seiko scores big in UDRP case

Japanese watchmaker Seiko has won a UDRP case concerning 138 domain names registered by 106 respondents

In a decision dated August 6, panellist Alistair Payne found that all of the domain names were registered and used in bad faith.

Nearly all of the domains, which were registered under .com and .info, comprised the word Seiko followed by a dictionary word.

Examples were seiko2013.info, seikoshops.info, watch-sieko-japan.com and seikobreast.com. The domains were registered between July 27 2012 and January 12 2013.

Payne noted that despite the 106 different owners, there was evidence of common control over the domain names and/or the websites to which they resolved, including obviously fake physical addresses, the same registration dates, resolving to the same or similar websites, the same hosting service, the use of only two registrars and the close similarity between each domain.

He concluded that “on the balance of probabilities it is most likely that the disputed domain names are controlled by the same person or entity” and that therefore the cases could be consolidated into a single proceeding.

Seiko claimed the domains were all resolving to sites selling goods, including fake Seiko watches – though it was not able to provide evidence of counterfeits bought from the sites.

“The Panel notes that the type of wholesale cyber-squatting in relation to a well-known mark as demonstrated in this case is exactly the sort of conduct that is intended to be deterred by the Policy,” wrote Payne.

Seiko was represented by Sanderson & Co in the UK. The respondents did not reply and were not represented.

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