Case Number: D2022-2678
Complainant: Gibson Brands, Inc.
Represented by: Bates & Bates LLC
Gibson Brands, maker of Gibson guitars, has been found guilty of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking in connection with its effort to grab the domain tobias.com using the UDRP process. While Gibson does hold a trademark for the name, Tobias, the respondent in the case, AssuredPartners Inc., an insurance company, acquired the domain tobias.com during its acquisition of Tobias Insurance Group in 2012. A solo panelist of the World Intellectual Property Organization found AssuredPartners had rights and legitimate interest in the domain, and handed up the RDNH ruling on September 29, 2022.
The panelist in the case, Robert A. Badgley, found the complainant had overstated the fame of its own “tobias” trademark, in addition to failing utterly to appreciate the ownership rights of the respondent. “Because Complainant, represented by counsel acquainted with the UDRP process, apparently made no effort at all to research the potential bona fides of Respondent, Complainant launched a misbegotten Complaint, and aggravated matters by making unreasonable arguments,” he wrote.