UDRP: KosherVitaminShoppe.com ist nicht verwechslungsfähig mit Marke THE VITAMIN SHOPPE

Die Inhaberin der Markenrechte an THE VITAMIN SHOPPE, die selbst unter <VitaminShoppe.com> im Internet präsent ist, scheiterte bei dem Versuch, den Domainnamen <KosherVitaminShoppe.com> im UDRP-Verfahren übertragen zu bekommen (Vitamin Shoppe Industries, Inc. v. Kosher Vitamin Express, NAF Claim No. 1466844). Das Schiedsgericht ging davon aus, dass zwischen dem Domainnamen und den Marken der Beschwerdeführerin keine Ähnlichkeit im Sinne des § 4(a)(i) der UDRP besteht:

Confusion in this context, in the sense of bewilderment or failing to distinguish between things, may be regarded as a state of wondering whether there is an association, rather than a state of erroneously believing that there is one.  An appropriate formulation might be:  “Is it likely that, because of the similarity between the domain name on the one hand and the Complainant’s trademark on the other hand, people will wonder whether the domain name is associated in some way with the Complainant?”:  SANOFI-AVENTIS v. Jason Trevenio, D2007‑0648 (WIPO July 11, 2007).

In finding confusing similarity, many Panels have found that the mere addition of a descriptive term by way of prefix to a complainant’s mark does not adequately distinguish the disputed domain name from the mark pursuant to the Policy ¶4(a)(i) […]. In each of these cases, the trademark was distinctive and comprised an invented word or, as in the last mentioned case, a famous name.

The two cases cited by Complainant in support of its contention of confusing similarity also concerned distinctive trademarks comprising invented words, namely CIALIS  (Eli Lily and Co. v. Igor Palchikov, FA1388612  (Nat. Arb. Forum June 15, 2011)) and AMBIEN(Sanofi-Aventis v. Patterson, D2008-1028  (WIPO Aug. 28, 2008)).

Here, Complainant’s trademark is composed of the common and wholly descriptive words, arranged in their usually encountered order,  “the”, “vitamin” and “shoppe”, the latter being an archaic but nevertheless commonly used spelling of the word “shop”.

The presence in the Domain Name of the word “kosher”, especially as the first word (which does not form part of Complainant’s trademark) and the absence of the word “the” (which does form part of Complainant’s trademark) would not, in the Panel’s opinion, lead Internet users to wonder whether there is an association between the Domain Name and Complainant or its mark. Hence the Panel finds that the Domain Name <koshervitaminshoppe.com> is not confusingly similar to Complainant’s THE VITAMIN SHOPPE mark under Policy ¶ 4(a)(i).

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