Chaturbate Scores Victory in Cybersquatting Complaint

Chaturbate Scores Victory in Cybersquatting Complaint

NEW YORK — An arbitrator for WIPO recently ordered the transfer of the domain name Chaturbate.online to the parent company of adult cam community Chaturbate.com.

The decision by neutral Jon Lang upheld Chaturbate.com’s contention that the domain owner for Chaturbate.online had been cybersquatting.

Chaturbate.online was registered in November 2016 by respondent Mikhail Kovalevskiy of Moscow — a year and a half after ICANN rolled out generic top-level domain names.

The domain name Chaturbate.online previously resolved to a site providing streaming entertainment video, but it currently does not resolve to an active website.

Lang, in his opinion ruling for the well-established adult cam community, called the “Chaturbate” trademark “a novel, invented term and not a word in any language.”

“There is no obvious connection between the word ‘chaturbate’ and the streaming of audio and audiovisual services. The Chaturbate mark is therefore entitled to the strongest amount of trademark protection,” Lang wrote. “Not only is the respondent incapable of good faith use of the domain name, it is intentionally profiting from the goodwill the complainant has established in the Chaturbate mark, with an ability to damage that goodwill.

“The respondent registered and used the domain name not because it refers to or is associated with the respondent, but because the domain mame is identical or confusingly similar to the Chaturbate.com domain name and Chaturbate marks used by the complainant. The respondent is profiting financially from the domain name and from the goodwill of the complainant's Chaturbate marks."

Lang also said that the respondent's failure to reply to a Chaturbate cease-and-desist letter only goes to support the contention that Kovalevskiy "lacks rights or legitimate interests in the domain name."

In his opinion, Lang noted that Chaturbate counsel sent a letter in October to Kovalevskiy asking him to stop using the domain name and to transfer it to the cam network. Kovalevskiy, however, did not respond to the letter.

Chaturbate has been successful in cases involving cybersquatting. Of five cases filed in recent years, four opinions ordered domains transferred and one domain was transferred without adjudication.

Industry attorney Lawrence Walters, of Walters Law Group, represented Chaturbate.com’s parent company in the case.

Walters told XBIZ: “Chaturbate.com aggressively defends its trademark rights and does not tolerate this type of blatant cybersquatting. The company has invested substantial resources into its brand recognition efforts, and it will continue to pursue infringers that come to its attention.”

Kovalevskiy was unreachable on Wednesday.  

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