UDRP on ritzcarlton.tokyo: cybersquatting, language of the proceedings and strategy for cityTLDs

Recently, a UDRP decision was rendered under the auspices of the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center in  relation to ritzcarlton.tokyo. Clearly, the transfer of this domain name posed no major difficulties (WIPO, D2018-2049, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C v. Taro Kokatsu, November 5, 2018). It should be noted, however, that the issue on the language of the proceedings arose. Indeed, the domain name registration contract was in Japanese. In the context of this case, the respondent did not participate in the proceedings, and the decision was rendered by default. However, under different circumstances, the panelist could decide that the language should be, according to the principle, that of the registration contract. In such a case, it is obvious that the translation costs would increase the cost of the procedure. Trademark owners should be aware that the registration agreements for most cityTLDs are in a language other than English.
In any case, the mere existence of the ritzcarlton.tokyo UDRP case highlights not only the inevitable risk of cybersquatting but also the impact that cybersquatting may have on the value and reputation of trademarks. There are many CityTLDs, in some sectors of the industry or services, they can be of strategic importance, for example, hotels, restaurants, legal services (law firms), accounting and financial services, etc. In some cases, it is strongly advised to register the strategic domain names. First, a domain name registered with a cityTLD can enhance the visibility of the website. Second, the cost of a UDRP procedure is equivalent to several years of registration and maintenance of the domain name.
.Abudhabi and .ابوظبي (Abu Dhabi)
.HK and . 香港 (Hong Kong)
.Joburg (Johannesburg)
.LA (Laos, but often used to designate Los Angeles)
. சிங்கப்பூர் and . 新加坡 (Singapour)
. 佛山 (Foshan)
.澳門 (Macao)

About IP Twins
  • IP Twins is an ICANN-accredited domain name registrar with 15 years of experience in domain name strategy and management. We represent trademark holders in UDRP proceedings.
  • IP Twins also offers anti-counterfeiting and anti-cybersquatting monitoring services. Detective, our monitoring software, identifies online counterfeits and cybersquatting. We collect evidence and remove references to counterfeits from hundreds of marketplaces, social networks and the web in general.
  • Should you need to complete these investigations, our team based in China can help.
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