In World2Work Corporation v Kurt Reuss, NAF Case No. 1214404 (Aug. 18, 2008), Panelist Darryl Wilson lived up to his rapidly-growing reputation as a no-nonsense arbitrator. The domain at issue in that case was fired.com. The complainant held a trademark registration for FIRED, but did not seem to understand that trademarks are not “word patents.”
While it is not normally required that the issue of genericness be resolved in the UDRP proceeding, especially when Complainant is the owner of a valid registration, it is important to address the issue when the mark and the domain consist of one or more common terms. Complainant’s belief that its registration gives it “an exclusive right to use the word ‘FIRED’ in commerce…” and that such use extends to a “right to use that word as a domain name and to register the domain fired.com as its own domain name” is sorely misguided. Trademark rights do not automatically confer domain name rights and vice-versa. Procurement of one right simply provides an improved opportunity for the other.