201805.15

DreamWorks Animation Wins a Cybersquatting Case Against a Trademark Troll

In the field of intellectual property, a troll is an individual or a company that produces nothing but shows enough audacity to initiate proceedings to have an infringement of its alleged rights recognized.
In 2014, the Troll producer won a UDRP case concerning two domain names: orientaldreamworks.com and shanghaidreamworks.com (D2014-0171, Dreamworks Animation LLC v. Hongyun Zeng, April 18, 2014, Transfer). The respondent argued that: (i) the domain names were not confusingly similar; (ii) he held a copyright in those domain names; (iii) the rights of the complainant cannot be expanded unlimitedly; (iv) he used the orientaldreamworks.com domain name to provide language services; (v) the domain name was not registered in bad faith. However, the panelist noted, among other things, that the defendant had offered the domain name for not less than 50,000 USD.
A few months before, Dreamworks also retrieved the domain names orientaldreamworks.cn and orientaldreamworks.com.cn via a cnDRP procedure (HKIAC DCN-1300561, 梦工场动画影片公司/DREAMWORKS ANIMATION L.L.C.  v. 苏洪亮, January 7, 2014, Transfert). These domain names had been registered by another individual or under another alias.
The UDRP decision was challenged before a Xiamen court in Fujian Province. The respondent argued that the services offered, which were language services, had nothing to do with the business of the American producer. The argument was not convincing since the domain name had not been in use for more than two years. In the end, the Xiamen court confirmed the transfer of the two domain names. They also awarded Dreamworks 10,000 RMB in damages (People’s Daily, January 31, 2018).
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