Did Kendall And Kylie Jenner Know Outcome Of Their Domain Dispute Before Filing At WIPO?01/09/2015 by William New, Intellectual Property Watch 1 CommentShare this Story:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)IP-Watch is a non-profit independent news service, and subscribing to our service helps support our goals of bringing more transparency to global IP and innovation policies. To access all of our content, please subscribe now. You also have the opportunity to offer additional support to your subscription, or to donate.Teens are way out front when it comes to tech stuff and the internet. So it’s totally not surprising that American teen tv stars Kendall and Kylie Jenner announced winning their domain name disputes even before the disputes were filed at the World Intellectual Property Organization, is it? The Jenner sisters are part of the “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” reality television show. Kylie Jenner tells Instagram about her new websiteToday, WIPO published the 21 August consolidated decisions (here) of domain name disputes brought on the sisters’ behalf for kyliejenner.com and kendalljenner.com, ruling in their favour. The decision says the complaints were filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Median Center on 9 July.But on 7 July, before the filing, Kylie Jenner, 17, announced to her Instagram followers the new website of kyliejenner.com. Her Instagram post, which attracted some 2 million likes, included the message: “can’t wait to release all my beauty secrets on KylieJenner.com coming soon.”Jenner’s announcement was written about in a fluffy 7 July Huffington Post article entitled, “Kylie Jenner Announces New Website With Stunning Instagram Selfie.”Teen Vogue also ran a story on 7 July, entitled, “Kylie Jenner Just Gave a Sneak Peek of Her New Beauty Website.” Many other stories followed.Two days later the cases were filed at the WIPO arbitration center.Which isn’t to suggest wrongdoing. For one, the cases appear from the explanation to be clear examples of bad faith opportunism on the part of the respondents who had registered the names in India. And the judge in both cases, Tony Willoughby, is above reproach and appears to be well removed from the Hollywood bright lights, as a semi-retired trademark lawyer in the United Kingdom.Besides, it was probably just youthful optimism.Plus, they couldn’t have known long, since they launched another website, kendall-kylie.com, together a few months earlier, according to the Huffington Post article:“And since one website (and an already massive social media following) isn’t enough, Kylie, along with sister Kendall Jenner, also launched Kendall-Kylie.com earlier this spring,” it said.As to the case itself, the judge said the names had been registered in bad faith in India in 2007, right after the two sisters appeared in an episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians.“The Domain Names were registered four days after the Complainants’ names came to the attention of the US public at large in the first episode of the widely viewed US television reality show ‘Keep Up With The Kardashians’ [sic],” the ruling said. “The Respondents have used the Domain Names not merely for the blog sites that they claim those sites to be, but also for commercial gain through advertising links having no association with the Complainants and, indeed, some of those links being to websites with which the Complainants understandably have no wish to be associated.”“In the Panel’s view hijacking individuals’ names in this way without permission and for personal gain is an unacceptable abuse of the system and cannot sensibly be said to give rise to rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Names,” it said.“Why did they adopt the Complainants’ names for the Domain Names?” the ruling states. “They each say in their Responses: ‘We registered the domain in 2007 and picked the name along with few others that sounded very American as title for a news, blog and information site for millennials.'”“The Complainants are indeed ‘very American’ and they do indeed fall within the description of ‘millennials’,” said the ruling. “When their names came to the attention of the Respondents they were among the youngest, if not the youngest, of the Kardashian-Jenner clan, a family of celebrities with a significant reputation and goodwill in the world of sport, entertainment and fashion. It would have been surprising if the Complainants had not followed in the footsteps of their parents and older siblings, as they now have.”“The Panel is of the view that the Respondents selected the names of the Complainants for the Domain Names in anticipation of the reputation and goodwill (i.e. trade mark rights) that those names were likely to attract and have in fact attracted,” it concluded, highlighting the confusingly similar nature of the domain names. “The unfair commercial advantage to the Respondents is obvious.”An noteworthy element is that the complainants (the sisters) had no trademark rights at the time of the domain name registrations. But the decision noted that in paragraph 3.1 of the WIPO Overview 2.0, it states: “In certain situations, when the respondent is clearly aware of the complainant, and it is clear that the aim of the registration was to take advantage of the confusion between the domain name and any potential complainant rights, bad faith can be found.”“The domain names have been used continuously since 2007 as ‘titles’ for news, social media and blog websites and information sites for millennials,” it said. “The domain names have been connected to blog websites featuring numerous references to the Complainants as well as advertising links to a variety of websites, some of them offering adult material and products such as sex pills, being matter with which the Complainants do not wish to be associated.” Surprise, I’m going to have my own website! Share this Story:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)RelatedWilliam New may be reached at email@example.com."Did Kendall And Kylie Jenner Know Outcome Of Their Domain Dispute Before Filing At WIPO?" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.