Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Rhiti Sports Management Private Limited have secured a relief from the WIPO Mediation and Arbitration Center at Geneva which evicted a cyber squatter from using his name in the domain name ‘www.msdhoni.com’.
The disputed domain name – msdhoni.com – was originally registered on October 31, 2005 with Wild West Domains, LLC and USA’s David Hanley has been the registrant since at least February, 2014.
A complaint was filed by Scriboard, who represented Dhoni and Rhiti Sports, with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center on August 19, 2016 and subsequently the Respondent offered to sell the domain name to them for USD 1,500.
Scriboard contended that “the Disputed Domain Name is identical to the MS DHONI trademark and the Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in the Disputed Domain Name”.
It also contended that “the Respondent uses the Disputed Domain Name in bad faith as the website to which the Disputed Domain Name resolved made use of the Complainants’ MS DHONI trademark in order to raise advertising revenue through the use of sponsored or “click through” links”.
The respondent did not file a formal response to the complainant’s contentions and accordingly the panel found that the respondent had no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
The penal concluded the registration and use of the domain was in bad faith as the respondent had engaged in a pattern of registering domain names corresponding to the names of famous persons which provides further evidence of bad faith.
Finally the panel also noted that the respondent’s offer to sell the disputed domain name to the complainants for USD 1,500 was further evidence of bad faith.
Accordingly, the panel ordered that the disputed domain name – msdhoni.com – be transferred to the complainants.