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The famous star is not the only one to complain to WIPO for illegal use of her name. Microsoft and Yahoo too are confronted with companies using the recognition their name gets in order to avail themselves of a share of the profit.
Everybody knows the name of the infamous Paris Hilton. The great-granddaughter of Conrad Hilton, founder of the Hilton Hotel chain, became a tabloid favourite on account of her flamboyant lifestyle – mainly because of the sex tape that was made and released on the Internet in 2001. It soon became clear that this clip was a hot item on search engines and many a website tried to attract visitors by referring to her tape.
Some websites, however, take this very far, like the one that incorporated the blonde’s name into its domain name: ParisHiltonPornVideos.com. Even Paris Hilton herself thought that this went a little too far, as you can read on TMZ. She complains to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Arbitration and Mediation Center, to demand that the domain name would be transferred to her.
Paris Hilton is not the only one whose name is used/“abused” to attract visitors. Microsoft, for instance, filed a complaint against MicrosoftAntipirateria.com, registered by a company based in Mexico. And Yahoo has trouble with YahooTechnicalHelp.com, of which the registrant appears to be located in Delhi, India. In both cases, the National Arbitration Forum was involved. This institution will now launch an investigation to answer the three following questions: Is the domain name so similar to the trademark that it could lead to confusion? Can the current owner exert certain rights on the domain name? And was the domain name registered in bad faith? If the answer to these three questions is “yes”, the domain will be transferred to the plaintiffs, respectively Microsoft and Yahoo.
So be forewarned should you believe that you are outsmarting everybody by using the name of a famous person or brand in a domain name in order to generate a lot of hits…
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