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Clover Gifts, Inc. v. George Morrison, G M Consulting Services , British Columbia International Commercial Arbitration Centre Case No. 00041 - by Eric Macramalla

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Domain Name: airs.ca
OutCome: Transfer Denied
Response Filed: Yes
Panellist: Edward Chiasson, Q.C.

The U.S. based Complainant was the owner of a trade-mark registration for AIRS, which matured to registration after the disputed domain name matured to registration. The mark is used in association with perfume and incense-related goods.

Under the CIRA Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy ("CDRP"), a successful Complainant must establish that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar with a mark in which it had rights, that the name was registered in bad faith and that the Registrant does not have a legitimate interest in the domain name.

The Registrant contended that the assignment of the mark to the Complainant was invalid and that it had a personal relationship with the assignor of the mark. The domain name resolved to a website selling the Complainant's products. The Registrant took the position that it continued to be licensed the rights to the AIRS mark by the assignor, and noted that it was indicated as the administrative contact for the assignor's unrelated domain name airsworld.com. The Registrant had been a vendor of AIRS products for over 10 years.

The Panel held that the domain name was confusing with the Complainant's rights. The Registrant questioning the legitimacy of the trade-mark assignment was rightfully found to be outside the scope of the CDRP.

However, the Complainant did not succeed in its claim of bad faith or showing that the Registrant did not have a legitimate interest in the domain name. According to the Panel, the Registrant's long-term involvement in the AIRS perfume business took this dispute outside the scope of the CDRP; it was a case better handled by court proceedings.

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