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Domains Ordered Transferred To University Of Oxford

July 14, 2015

The University Of Oxford presented history dating back to 1214 to assert its rights over a couple of domain names registered by another party.

The case of the Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of the University of Oxford (we'll just refer to them as Oxford) v. Oxford College for PhD Studies (the registrant) appeared to be a bit of a slam dunk; made easier by the fact the respondent didn't reply to the Complainant's contentions.

The two domains in question were <> and <>; both of which were registered in late 2014. However, the registrant apparently doesn't really exist.

To help establish its claims concerning the names, the real (or perhaps it's more appropriate to say, the better known) Oxford pointed out the body of Masters and Scholars at Oxford was placed under the jurisdiction of a Chancellor way back in the year 1214. 

Oxford stated the disputed names are identical or confusingly similar to its trademarks and also asserted the respondent  used the names "without plausible explanation to divert traffic from the Complainant's website," in other words; registering the domains in bad faith.

As the goods/services being offered via the disputed domains appeared not to be bona fide and the registrant was not commonly known by its name, Oxford also claimed the registrant had no rights or legitimate interest with regard to the domains.

These arguments addressed three crucial elements required for a decision to be made to transfer the names to Oxford; i.e., confusingly similar, no rights or legitimate interests and a bad faith registration.

A WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center administrative panel decision agreed and concluded that the disputed domain names should be transferred.

The full text of the complaint and decision can be viewed here.

Infringing on a company or organisation's trademarks, whether on purpose or accidentally, is a risky business. Learn more about choosing domain names.


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