On 18 May 2011 the Presidium of the Supreme Arbitration Court (the “SAC”) issued a decree requiring the domain administrator of the www.mumm.ru site to cease using the domain name. The SAC has ruled that use of the name infringes the exclusive rights of champagne maker G.H. Mumm & Cie to the “Mumm” trademark.
The administrator of the disputed domain referred to the fact that the domain was not being used for commercial purposes, but rather for posting information on Egyptian mummies. However, having reviewed all of the circumstances of the case, the SAC ruled that the domain administrator had not proved a legitimate interest in using the domain name and declared the use as not being in good faith.
The SAC’s decree broadens the possibility for trademark holders to take legal action against domain administrators. Previously the chances of a court decision being rendered in favour of the trademark holder depended on whether the domain name in question was used for commercial purposes. However, it appears that it is now possible to prove the infringement of exclusive rights to a trademark even if a domain name is not used for commercial purposes.
[The official text of the ruling of the Supreme Arbitration Court of the Russian Federation is expected in several weeks on the Court’s official website]