UDRP: Keine Übertragung des Domainnamens fine-tubes.com an Inhaber der Wort-/Bildmarke finetubes

12. Februar 2013 | Kategorien: Domainrecht, UDRP

finetubesDer Inhaber der Wort-/Bildmarke „finetubes“ (Darstellung links) unterlag bei dem Versuch, den Domainnamen „fine-tubes.com“ im Wege des UDRP-Verfahrens übertragen zu bekommen (Fine Tubes Limited v. Tobias Kirch, J. & J. Ethen, Ethen Rohre GmbH, WIPO Case No. D2012-2211).

Der Beschwerdegegner verteidigte sich erfolgreich mit dem Argument, der Beschwerdeführer habe in der Vergangenheit erfolglos versucht, die Marke als reine Wortmarke anzumelden. Die Eintragung der Wortmarke sei vom Harmonisierungsamt für den Binnenmarkt (HABM) allerdings wegen deren beschreibenden Inhalts im Bezug auf die angemeldeten Waren „Rohre und Röhren aus Metall oder Legierungen; vollständig aus Schlauchleitungen oder Rohrleitungen bestehende Waren; Teile und Zusatzteile für alle vorstehend genannten Waren.“ abgelehnt worden:

Complainant has presented evidence of substantial use of the terms “Fine Tubes” in commerce. However, Respondent has provided evidence of rejection in 2004 by OHIM of an application by Complainant for registration of the word trademark “Fine Tubes” standing alone, with reference by OHIM to Article 7(1)(b) and 7(1)(c) of the Community Trade Mark Regulation that establish absolute grounds for refusal. The relevant paragraphs provide for refusal with respect to:

(b) trade marks which are devoid of any distinctive character;

(c) trade marks which consist exclusively of signs or indications which may serve, in trade, to designate the kind, quality, quantity, intended purpose, value, geographical origin or the time of production of the goods or of rendering of the service, or other characteristics of the goods or service;

Das Schiedsgericht ging vor diesem Hintergrund davon aus, dass der Beschwerdeführer keine Rechte an einer Marke habe, die mit dem streitgegenständlichen Domainnamen identisch oder verwechslungsfähig ähnlich im Sinne des § 4(a)(i) der UDRP sei:

The Panel determines that Complainant has failed to establish that it has rights in a trademark to which the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar.

Complainant having failed at this first stage, the Panel will not consider the issues of rights or legitimate interests or bad faith registration and use.

This administrative panel decision turns on the question whether the combination term “Fine Tubes” may be exclusively appropriated as a trademark by Complainant for use in relation to those products. Relevant trademark office authorities in the jurisdictions where Complainant and Respondent are headquartered have decided that the term may not be registered as a trademark. Complainant recently withdrew its application to register that term following examination by authorities in the United Kingdom, where it is based. Complainant may eventually decide to reengage with UK or OHIM trademark authorities and relevant courts on this matter. It is not inconceivable that Complainant will succeed. But, this Panel defers to the present state of affairs before the relevant trademark office authorities, noting that there is no compelling reason to reject their judgment in this particular matter.

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