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RPG life lost battle for domain name rpglife.com

Feb 19, 2014 18:10 IST

RPG Life Sciences, a pharma company from India, lost the battle against the owner of domain name rpglife.com on 17 February 2014. RPG Life Sciences complaint against the owner of the domain name rpglife.com was overruled by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).

imageWIPO based in Geneva, Switzerland is an arbitration service provider for settlement of domain name disputes. Interestingly, the owner has now offered to sell the domain name to RPG Life.

The RPG Life Sciences had filed complaint on the basis that the registered trademarks RPG and RPG Life were both distinctive and predated the registration of the disputed domain name, which was registered only on October 28, 2005.  

It further argued that the owner of the rpglife.com registered the domain name in bad faith. The disputed domain name, rpglife.com, redirected internet users to a role playing game (RPG) website.

A domain name is said to be registered in bad faith if it is not used for any legitimate purpose but for cyber-squatting - when domain names of reputed companies are acquired only to sell them at a profit. If the arbitrator finds that the disputed domain name was registered and used in bad faith, it can be transferred to the complainant.

However, WIPO ruled that the complaint was an attempt to deprive a registered holder the ownership of a domain name, also referred to as reverse hijacking. That is not only was the company's complaint denied but the arbitrator alluded that the complaint was filed in bad faith.

imageWIPO's arbitrator pointed out, Mathe, the owner of the domain name rpglife.com, was simply using an established acronym for the words role playing game (RPG) in conjunction with the word life.

As the disputed domain name led internet users to a website which had relevant content and advertised goods and services applicable to role playing games, usage of the domain name was held to be entirely legitimate.

RPGs are an extremely popular genre of gaming where the players assume the roles of characters in fictional settings. Classics such as Dungeons & Dragons (D&D), Final Fantasy and World of Warcraft (WOW) are variants of RPGs.

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