Domain Name News
POTSDAM SUCCESS IN GEOGRAPHIC DOMAIN CASE
12th November, 2002
A WIPO panellist has ordered the transfer of the domain names potsdam.com, potsdam.net, potsdam.org, and potsdam.info to the German city of Potsdam.
The domains had been registered by New York based Transglobal Networx Inc. and forwarded web traffic to the web site of a local computer business. The panellist noted that:
When looking for information on the Internet about the city of Potsdam, it is likely that Internet users will start the search by entering a domain name consisting of the name "Potsdam" into their browser. By doing so, such users would normally expect to reach some official body of the city Potsdam itself. For the public at large, when thinking of "Potsdam", the first reasonable thought is the city of Potsdam and not a company offering its IT services under such name.
While previous high-profile domain disputes involving geographic terms such as barcelona.com have often proven controversial as abusive registration of geographical indicators does not per se fall within the scope of the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP), the city of Potsdam had been prudent enough to register a trade mark corresponding to the city name. This combined with the panellist's finding of bad faith was sufficient for the city.
Details at: http://www.demys.net/news/02_nov_12_potsdam.htm