10 October 2017
Reporter: Barney Dixon

Return to sender for postal domains

The US Postal Service has reclaimed 30 infringing domain names following an Alternative Dispute Resolution Forum Uniform Domain-Name Dispute Resolutions Policy (UDRP) decision.

According to the US Postal Service, the domain names, which all contained the words 'US postal address', prefixed by the word ‘change’, were “confusingly similar” to its trademark for US Postal.

The registrants of the domains did not respond to the US Postal Service’s allegations.

Sole panellist Debrett Lyons explained that if the registrants were to respond, an “argument might have evolved as to whether the trademark should be taken to be confusingly similar to an expression such as ‘change US postal address’ (and certainly, that might have constituted a respectable enquiry)”.

In absence of a response, Lyons stated that none of the additions made to the trademark in the disputed domain names alter the identity of the trademark enough and ‘US Postal’ remains the distinctive element of the domain.

Lyons also found evidence of "bad faith", because the objective of the websites was for monetary gain.

He said: “The panel finds that [the registrant] is using the domain names to attract, for commercial gain, internet users to Respondent’s website by creating a likelihood of confusion with [the US Postal Service’s] trademark.”

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