Apple, Inc. filed two UDRP Complaints against Daniel Bijan at the National Arbitration Forum ("Forum") in November 2009. Bijan registered the following domain names: <macbookpro.us>, <macbook.us>, <macbooks.us>, <macpro.us>, <macbookpro.com>, <macbookpro.net>, <macbookpro.org>, <macbookpro.biz>, <macfriend.com>, <blueipod.com>, <redipods.com>, <ipodaccessories.info>, <ipodsbaratos.com><ipodkits.com>, <iphonecheap.com>, and <iphonetoys.com>. Apple asserted that the domain names were confusingly similar to Apple's MAC, MACBOOK, iPOD, and iPHONE trademarks, and Bijan did not have any rights to the domain names. The Forum found that each of Bijan's domain names contained one of Apple's trademarks in its entirety, and included a generic term or top-level domain ("gTLD"). The Forum concluded that the addition of the generic or descriptive term to Apple's trademark in Bijan's domain name created a confusing similarity between Bijan's domain names and Apple's trademarks, and that the addition of a gTLD field failed to distinguish Bijan's domain name from Apple's trademarks. Furthermore, Bijan's domain names resolved to Web sites featuring advertisements and links relating to Apple's competitors in the computer, computer accessory, and music device industries. Accordingly, the Forum inferred that Bijan profited through the generation of click-through fees from the links to Apple's competitors. Therefore, the Forum found that Bijan's use of the disputed domain names were not in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services or a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain names. The Forum ordered that the domain names be transferred from Bijan to Apple.
TIP: Brand owners should protect their rights and their customers by reviewing their domain names and searching the Web to determine whether cybersquatters are registering domain names containing their trademark and using them to generate revenue via click-through advertising fees.