WebMD can keep its IVI.com domain, panel rules

Infertility company fails in cybersquatting claim for IVI.com.

A World Intellectual Property Organization panel has ruled against Spanish infertility medical company Equipo IVI SL in a dispute over the domain name IVI.com. Equipo IVI argued that WebMD was cybersquatting by owning the domain name.

WebMD did not respond to the cybersquatting complaint. Despite this, the panelist determined that WebMD did not register the domain in bad faith. This was primarily because the complainant did not show that it had trademark rights in IVI at the time IVI.com was registered in 1992.

It’s not clear when WebMD acquired the IVI.com domain name. The company was not founded until 1996 and DomainTools’ oldest historical record for the domain is from 2001. This record shows WebMD as the owner.

Had WebMD bothered to respond, it could have poked a lot of holes in Equipo IVI SL’s case. Here is one of the more laughable arguments in Equipo IVI’s filing:

The Respondent, by rejecting the Complainant’s offers prior to the filing of the Complaint and by keeping the disputed domain name inactive since the date of registration, is engaging in passive retention, clearly jeopardising the Complainant and preventing it from providing the products or services corresponding to its business activity;

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