Geneva
05 October 2017
Reporter: Jenna Lomax

HMRC recovers three bad domains


The UK’s tax authority has recovered three infringing domains in a World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) Arbitration and Mediation Centre dispute.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) alleged that hmrc-tax-service.com, service-hmrc-tax.com and tax-hmrc-service.com, were confusingly similar to the HMRC trademark.

Sole panellist John McElwaine found that the domain names were being used in bad faith by the respondent, who intended to make money by using the trademark.

McElwaine said the respondent “must have known of Complainant's HMRC mark when it selected to register the Domain Names, which all contain reference to ‘tax services’.”

“There is no explanation for respondent to have chosen to use such related terms related to [HMRC’s] purpose in each of the domain names other than to trade off the goodwill and reputation of [its] trademark or otherwise create a false association with [HMRC].”

He added: “In light of these factors, the panel finds that respondent's passive holding of the domain names is evidence of registration and use of the domain names in bad faith.”

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