In a WIPO action decided on October 1st, the case of LEGO Juris A/S v. Domain Administrator, Matthew Griffith, Case No. D2011-1263, was decided for the Respondent and the Claim was denied.
According to a WhoIs database search, the Respondent registered the disputed domain name LEGOworkshop.com on February 25, 2011. Shortly after this, the Complainant wrote to the Respondent, drawing attention to its registered trade marks, and requesting that the Respondent transfer the disputed domain name to it, upon payment of the necessary costs involved. The Complainant followed up its letter by email on May 17, 2011. No response to these communications was received, and the Complainant accordingly instituted the present proceeding.
The Respondent says the domain was registered on behalf of his 15 year old 10th grade son who has been a LEGO enthusiast since he was 3 years old. His intent was to create a website that showed off the creations that he (the son) has built over the years in “both photographs and occasional video while also showing steps to build his creations”. He states that this is part of a high school project that his son is doing and that will earn him credit towards his final graduation, and says further that he (the son) has “chosen this to be his project as it allows his passion for the product, the creativity of building using the product and the programming technology required to create and maintain the site to flourish while helping other kids to build creations that they might not be able to dream up on their own and to share building ideas”.
The Respondent goes on to state that he regards this as a “fair use” of the domain name, arguing that there is no use of the LEGO logo on the site, there is no intention to profit from this, and that there is no confusion that the site might be owned or endorsed by the Complainant and that there is a disclaimer to this on the website. He states further that the domain name has never been listed for sale and two previously emailed offers have been ignored.
This Panel therefore concludes that the present case is very similar to that in Souza and that the Complainant has therefore failed to establish that the Respondent had no rights or legitimate interest in its registration and use of the disputed domain name as required under paragraph 7(a)(ii) of the Policy.
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