Lidl won a dispute over lidl-de.website

The well-known German retailer Lidl won a domain name dispute before the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center.

The case concerns a registered domain name for lidl-de.website by an individual. The domain hadn’t been used before the arbitration procedure with exception of a period when there was a website offering a survey dedicated to Lidl and redirecting to third parties websites.

The German company initiated a complaint wanting transfer of the domain to the company because of bad faith registration. In order for such a procedure to be successful the following cumulative factors are necessary:

(i) the Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or a service mark in which the Complainant has rights; and

(ii) the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name; and

(iii) the Domain Name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

Lidl submitted many early registered trademarks such as:

– German registration No. 2006134 for LIDL registered on 11 November, 1991;
– German registration No. 30009606 for LIDL registered on 9 March, 2000;
– European Union registration No. 001779784 for 

logo

 registered on 12 November, 2001;
– European Union registration No. 001778679 for LIDL registered on 22 August, 2002;
– European Union registration No. 013192752 for 

logo

 registered on 27 February, 2015;
– International registration No. 748064 for LIDL registered on 26 July, 2000;
– International registration No. 974355 for LIDL registered on 9 May, 2008;

In addition, the company added a family of registered domain names that include lidl.

WIPO concluded that the domain name in dispute is confusingly similar to the earlier trademarks because they are included in the domain entirely. The rest of the domain elements .de and .website are generic and descriptive and are not able to create a difference.

According to Arbitrage, the domain registrant has no legitimate interest to use it because it associates with the business and geographical origin of Lidl as a company.

The domain was registered in bad faith because the registrant was aware of Lidl’s business taking advantage of its reputation.

Source: WIPO.

Jamaica joins the Madrid Protocol for international registration of trademarks

WIPO reports about the accession of Jamaica to the Madrid Protocol for international registration of trademarks.

The Protocol will come into force for the country on 27.03.2022, a date after which Jamaica can be designated on the international application of trademarks.

This is the 110th Member State of the Protocol which facilitates significantly registration of trademarks around the world because applicants have to file only a single application designating as many countries Member States as they wish.

Despite the pandemic intellectual property is on the rise for 2020

WIPO has published its annual World Intellectual Property Indicators Report for 2020.

Despite the pandemic and all accompanying economic problems, the data clearly shows that the interest in intellectual property rights is rising on a global basis.

According to the report, there is a 13,7% increase in trademark applications for 2020, a 1,6% increase in patents applications, 2% for designs, and 5,1% for plant varieties.

A number of patent applications:

Trademark applications trend 2006 – 2020:

Design application trend 2006 – 2020:

Design applications by country:

Source: WIPO.

Which are the most innovative economies in 2021?

WIPO published its annual Global Innovation Index for 2021 where the level of innovations of most than 130 countries is evaluated.

This year the most innovative nation is Switzerland followed by Sweden, the US, the UK and South Korea.

Top three of the most innovative countries by region is as follow:

Bulgaria, as an EU Member State, is at 35th position in this index, but more interestingly is the fact that the country is second in the list, after China, from the group of countries with an upper middle-income level that have performance above expectations.

The Global Innovation Index is very indicative how well developed and competitive the relevant countries are. It is no surprising that the most developed countries are at the top of the list.

The good news for Bulgaria is that the country is in the first group of countries with positive perspective for future development in the innovation area.

One of the reason for this is that the software industry in Bulgaria has been growing year after year with an impressive pace (the growth for 2020 is about 20% compared with 2019 despite the pandemic). The other reason is that more and more foreign companies open R&D departments.

An additional progress in the Index, however, will require better connection between the business, scientific organizations and universities as well as better access to startup financing.

Instagram won a domain name dispute against instagam.nl.

The well-known social-media Instagram part of Facebook won a domain name dispute. The case filed before the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center regards a third party registered domain name for instagam.nl.

Instagram pointed out that this domain is confusingly similar to its registered trademarks INSTAGRAM insofar the difference is only one letter R.

According to the US company, the Respondent had no rights to or legitimate interests in the domain name. This domain was used to point to a webpage entitled “Instagam” under which it was stated: “Allways online / stay connected”. Below the title, the website displayed graphics containing the camera logos of Complainant. The website contained three hyperlinks, including a hyperlink resolving to a page which was headed “instagam IGTV: Watch Instagram Videos”. However, none of the hyperlinks enabled the viewing of videos of Complainant.

The Respondent didn’t use the domain for any goods and services in a fair trade way. 

Instagram asserts that the domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith. Bearing in mind that INSTAGRAM trademark is distinctive and well known throughout the world, Respondent could not reasonably argue that it did not have knowledge of it at the time of registration of the domain.

The WIPO Arbitration upheld all Instagram claims and transferred the domain name.

Source: WIPO.