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Lexi Love Wins Back Domain Name From Cybersquatter

Lexi Love Wins Back Domain Name From Cybersquatter
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Friday, Jun 12, 2009    Text size: 
LOS ANGELES — Adult performer Lexi Love has won back her domain name from a Dallas-based cybersquatter. The WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center, which adjudicates disputes involving domain names, ruled May 19 that Texas Property Associates had no right to use LexiLove.com and infringed upon Love’s trademarked name.

As the complainant, Love filed the complaint with the Geneva, Switzerland administrative panel March 31. Love first used the name Lexi Love on Aug. 16, 2004 and the disputed domain was registered Oct. 18, 2005 — well after Love had been an established adult performer with numerous movies to her credit.

Sole WIPO administrative panelist Christopher J. Pibus ruled that LexiLove.com is “essentially identical” to the registered Lexi Love mark even though the trademark wasn’t registered until 2008; Love had already established a common law trademark to the name.

Pibus also ruled in Love’s favor on the two other prongs she needed to prove in order to win back the domain: the cybersquatter had no rights or legitimate interest to use the name, and that the name was being used in bad faith. In this case, the respondent displayed click-through ads for “dating and relationship services” in order to earn commission from those sites.

“The Panel’s findings with respect to the Respondent’s awareness of [Love’s] trademark, set out above, also support a conclusion of bad faith use and registration of the domain name in question,” Pribus wrote in his decision. “This conclusion is reinforced by the pattern of cybersquatting conduct on the part of [Texas Property Assoc.], evidenced by the significant number of decisions where the [it] has attempted to appropriate famous trademarks.”

Love was pleased with the panel’s decision and plans to launch a new site.

“It’s empowering,” she said of the victory. “It’s a great feeling to know that I now own my domain name. I took all the proper steps to make sure that legally I was covered and it paid off. I am very happy about the outcome.”

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