10 August 2017
Reporter: Barney Dixon

Airbnb evicts phisher

Airbnb has recovered an infringing domain that was filed in bad faith to phish information from legitimate customers.

In a UDRP dispute heard at the World IP Organization (WIPO) Arbitration and Mediation Center, home hopping app Airbnb challenged the legitimacy of, contending that it incorporated the entirety of its trademark, with the addition of ‘now’ doing nothing to “diminish the substantial identity between the trademark and the disputed domain name”.

The website hosted on the disputed domain also mimicked the official Airbnb website, using the Airbnb logo and corporate colours to invite “visitors to enter their email addresses to ‘[g]et the best rent value possible’”.

Sole panellist Timothy Casey agreed that this was evidence enough of infringement. He said: “The incorporation of a gTLD suffix and the word ‘now’ do nothing to further distinguish the disputed domain name from the trademark”.

“The respondent’s website does nothing to create any legitimate interests in the disputed domain name because its operation as a phishing website or a competitive service offering to the complainant’s services, or both, do not constitute a bona fide offering of goods or services.”

Finally, Casey settled on the reasoning that the website’s time of registration, wording, logos and colour scheme clearly indicated bad faith.

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