A Sydney brothel has successfully has successfully rejected a complaint by lingerie giant Victoria’s Secret, regarding its registration of domain name victoriassecrets.com.au.
The World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPRO) found in favour of the brothel, despite its belief that the registration of the domain name was made in ‘bad faith.’
Its grounds for dismissing the case were that it took Victoria’s Secret took too long to lodge an official complaint, despite knowing about the domain name registration since May 12 2005, the date when a legal representative of the company first sent a cease and desist letter to the respondent.
A subsequent letter to the business, which proceeded to reply and deny liability, was not then followed up on for seven years.
The disputed domain name is not being directly used and currently resolves to a website advertising ‘Sydney’s Finest Ladies & Escorts’ in connection with a brothel service in Sydney, Australia.
In a statement, the WIPRO said: “The panel is persuaded, on the balance of probabilities, that the Respondent knew of the Complainant’s trademark at the time it registered and began using the disputed domain name, and deliberately chose the disputed domain name so its business could benefit from the notoriety of the Complainant’s trademark. In this Panel’s view, the Respondent’s registration of the disputed domain name in those circumstances constituted registration in bad faith.
“Accordingly, this Panel considers that the Complainant has established the requirements of paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy. The Complaint does not succeed, however, due to the Complainant’s failure to establish the requirement of paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.”