Geizhals vs. Geizkragen

22. Juni 2005 | Kategorien: Domainrecht

Die Inhaberin der Domain geizhals.at scheiterte vor der WIPO (WIPO Case No. D2005-0121) mit dem Versuch, die Domain geizhals.com zugesprochen zu bekommen. Diese gehört dem Inhaber der Domain geizkragen.de, der daneben auch Inhaber der Domain geizhals.de ist. Die beiden geizhals-Domains des Beschwerdegegners wurden auf die geizkragen-Domain umgeleitet. Beide Parteien bieten unter ihren Domainnamen Preisvergleiche für Produkte an.

Das Panel kam zu der Entscheidung, dass mit der Weiterleitung auf die Domain geizkragen.de eine „bona fide“-Nutzung des Domainnamens geizhals.com seitens des Beschwerdegegners vorlag:

The Respondent, by using the Domain Name (which points to its Geizkragen website) for a price comparison service – comparable to that of the Complainant – is without doubt making a bona fide offering of services in the sense of the Policy conferring him legitimate rights. The fact that the Respondent is using the Domain Name to direct the user to its website „www.geizkragen.de“ is understandable in view of the fact that „Geizhals“ and „Geizkragen“ are synonyms in the German language.

Im Übrigen habe der Beschwerdegegner auch die prioritätsälteren Rechte an der Bezeichnung:

Since the Complaint is referring to identical and similar domain names and trademarks as those of the Complainant, one could argue that Respondent’s offering is not bona fide. The Panel will therefore also look at the case from the perspective of priority rights.

It follows from the evidence submitted by the Parties that the Complainant has been using the tradename „GEIZHALS“ in connection with its domain name geizhals.at since June 1999. Its Austrian wordmark GEIZHALS has been filed on January 19, 2001.

The Respondent has been using the tradename “Geizkragen” and the domain name geizkragen.de since September 1998. It acquired the domain name geizhals.de and the disputed domain name geizhals.com in August 2002. Since January 16, 2001, the Respondent has been the holder of the German wordmark GEIZHALS whereas it filed already on April 22, 1999, the German wordmark „GEIZKRAGEN“.

It appears, therefore, that the Respondent holds a German trademark registration for the word „GEIZHALS“ which is prior to Complainant’s Austrian registration for the same name. The Respondent is also holder of the domain name geizhals.de since 2002.

As pointed out above, the Panel finds it acceptable that the Respondent has shown an interest in securing its rights also on the term „Geizhals“, since „Geizhals“ and „Geizkragen“ are synonyms in the German language.

This result is also acceptable from the point of view of trademark law. Indeed, at the outset, both Parties had registered trademarks restricted to their country of origin. In 2003, the Complainant filed a CTM application, at a time when the Respondent had already trademark rights based on its German registration. Hence, we are in presence of a coexistence of trademark rights. Under these circumstances, the Panel is of the opinion that it is justified to apply the principle „first come, first served“.

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