Sole panellist Sandra Franklin found that the infringing domain name had been registered in a deliberate show of bad faith, to confuse potential users and impersonate Nike.
Franklin explained that the inclusion of the term ‘inc’ in the domain name did not adequately differentiate itself from the Nike and NikePlus trademarks and was “confusingly similar”.
According to Nike, the domain was used to host an email address where the registrant, acting as Nike, contacted third-party sellers of genuine Nike goods and reported the items as counterfeit.
Franklin said that this “is not a bona fide offering of goods or services or a non-commercial fair use”, and therefore the registrant lacks the rights and legitimate interests in the nikeplusinc.com domain.
Alongside this, Franklin concluded that due to the fame and notoriety of the Nike trademark, the registrant was aware of Nike’s rights when they registered the domain, making the subsequent use of the disputed domain name “bad faith”.