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Groupe Fortune 1000 inc. v. FRT Freight Services Inc., British Columbia International Comercial Arbitration Centre, CIRA Dispute No. 00029 - by Eric Macramalla

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Domain Name: frt.ca
OutCome: Transfer Denied
Response Filed: No
Panellist: RenÚ LagacÚ

The Complainant, Groupe Fortune 1000 inc., specialized in the development, sale and support of accounting software. It was a publicly traded company, listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange as "FRT". The Registrant operated a Transport company known as FRT Freight Services.

The Registrant did not file a Response to the Complaint, and accordingly the Complainant elected as per Rule 6(5) of the CIRA Domain Name Dispute Resolution Rules to reduce the three member Panel to a single member Panel.

Under the CIRA Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy ("CDRP"), Complainants must establish three elements. Firstly, the disputed domain name must be confusingly similar to a mark in which the Complainant had, and continues to have, rights. Secondly, the domain name must have been registered in bad faith. Finally, the Registrant must have no legitimate interest in the domain name.

The Panel began by assessing whether the disputed domain name was confusingly similar with a mark in which the Complainant had, and continues to have rights. It concluded that the Complainant failed to establish rights in the FRT mark prior to the date of the disputed domain name registration. The Complainant was not listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange as "FRT" until almost four years after the domain name was registered and was unable to establish use of the mark prior to this time.

The Complainant also failed to show that the disputed domain name was registered in bad faith.

Despite failing to find confusing similarity or bad faith registration, the Panel went on to consider whether the Registrant had a legitimate interest in the disputed domain name. Even though the Registrant did not submit a Response to the Complaint, the Panel held that sufficient evidence was adduced to show that the Registrant had and continues to have a legitimate interest in the domain name. Specifically, the General Glossary of Transport Acronyms lists "FRT" as the acronym for the generic word "freight", used to describe the Registrant's services.

In light of the Panel's findings, the Complainant's request for transfer of the domain name was denied.

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