Venable prevailed for Playboy in a WIPO dispute involving the use of an infringing domain name. Marcella Ballard and Kristen Ruisi filed a complaint against a new generic top-level domain or "gTLD" (i.e., the domain Playboy.London) in a Uniform Dispute Resolution Procedure (UDRP) on behalf of firm client Playboy Enterprises International, Inc., the owner of the world-famous Playboy and Rabbit Head Design trademarks. In February 2015, the WIPO panel ordered the domain to be transferred to Playboy. The registrant then filed a lawsuit in the United Kingdom seeking a declaration that he nonetheless owned the gTLD.
Working with local counsel, Venable continued the fight in the United Kingdom, where the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court dismissed the registrant’s claim in its entirety, finding that the Court did not have jurisdiction to hear an appeal against the decision of the UDRP Panel. The Court also ordered the registrant to pay Playboy £19,296.50 in fees.
This decision upholds a series of successful domain complaints filed by Venable on behalf of Playboy and keeps our winning streak at 100% in the WIPO tribunal.