Trademark and Domains
The Madrid football club Atlético de Madrid have successfully retrieved the domain name atleticodemadrid.com in a recent domain name dispute under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) before the World Intellectual Property Organisation
A third party registered the domain in 2000 and it is identical to Atletico’s trademarks. The UDRP Panel found that the registrant, who has not submitted a response to Atlético de Madrid’s contentions, had no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name. Nor had the registrant been commonly known by the name “Atletico de Madrid” at any relevant time.
The UDRP also found that registering and using the disputed domain name would mislead Internet users into thinking that the registrant was connected to, sponsored by or affiliated with the club and its business in other words they registered it in bad faith. The link also redirected Internet users to a page with links, which is further evidence of bad faith. A failure to respond to the case is also evidence of bad faith.
As such the domain name will be transferred back to Madrid. This has happened to a number of football clubs. Football is big business these days- selling millions in merchandise. Football clubs like any other brand are going to take action to enforce and protect their brands.
If you have a brand then you should protect it. Registering a trademark especially in the UK can be a fairly straight forward procedure. It’s a no brainer- protect what’s yours with a registered trademark!