Domain Belongs to Playboy, Arbitrator Rules

LOS ANGELES — Playboy Enterprises recently was handed a victory by an arbitrator over the use of the domain name

Always vigilant about protecting its trademark, Playboy filed the cybersquatting case earlier this year at the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center, which hears UDRP complaints.

The panel, deciding for Playboy, ordered the domain name transferred to the legendary adult entertainment company that was first started up in 1953, ruling that domain name holder John Hanley of Bay Shore, N.Y., acquired it in bad faith.

Hanley, who did not respond to claims, never built out the web property.

"Prior panels have found that a registrant's passive holding of a disputed domain name constitutes evidence of use in bad faith," the panel said. "Here, complainant's valid rights in its Playboy mark long predate the registration of the disputed domain name, respondent knew or should have known of complainant's mark prior to the registration of the disputed domain name, and the disputed domain name resolves to a website that has no content other than the offer for sale of the disputed domain name."