NEW YORK — The operator of nine websites that offered or redirected to adult fare has been ordered to hand over the sites to the company that runs smartphone messaging app Kik.
Adult-Kik.com, AdultKik.com, AdultKik.info, KikBlackbook.com, KikChatroom.com, Kik-Flyrts.com, KikHookups.com, KikOffers.com and Kiksters.com were ordered transferred to Kik Interactive of Waterloo, Canada, after an arbitrator found all of the sites cybersquatting.
Arbitrator Clive L. Elliott last week ruled on the domain names after finding that the sites registered by domain holder Nestor Hernandez of New York were identical or confusingly similar to its trademark, that Hernandez did not have any legitimate rights or interests in the domain name, and that he registered and used the sites as adult portals in bad faith.
Hernandez’s sites, according to the decision, operated with sexually explicit content and offered adult chat services or redirected to sites that did.
Kik Messenger, modeled after BlackBerry Messenger, has 270 million users who use it for free.
The company owns a number of trademark filings and registrations for the Kik marks in the U.S., E.U., Australia, Canada, the United Arab Emirates, Norway, and Saudi Arabia, as well as various other jurisdictions since at least 2012. It registered Kik.com as a domain in 1999.
Hernandez, who did not formally respond to the cybersquatting claims, registered the nine domains in late 2014 through 2015. All of the sites have been disabled at XBIZ post time.
Kik said became aware of Hernandez’s suite of “Kik” sites after becoming aware of KikChatroom.com, an adult chat service.