The Puerto Rico Tourism Company lost its UDRP bid to take puertorico.com from Virtual Countries, Inc. The WIPO panelists decided that because geographic identifiers were not trademarks under United States law, the territory had no right to kick the domain’s registrant out. Like the recent newzealand.biz decision, this decision underscores the serious problems of non-uniformity that should tank WIPO’s recommendations to ICANN for a new protection for geographic identifiers. (Link to ALAC draft comments)
A bit of absurdity from the puertorico.com decision:
The Complainant, possibly aware that United States federal trademark law does not support its position, contends that the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico is not part of the United States of America, but the Panel takes administrative notice that Puerto Rico is a Territory of the United States of America and subject to its law.
In other UDRP news, the Markle Foundation, U.Mass’s Center for Dispute Resolution, and Cornell’s fantastic LII offer the URDP-DB, whose advanced search categorizes decisons by claims and outcomes. Combined with Lawcite’s quasi-Sheperdization (follow a decision’s subsequent citations), you can actually find quite a few of these non-precedential, non-arbitration UDRP decisions.