Case Number: D2022-2695
Complainant: Coca-Cola Femsa
Represented by: Chevez Ruiz Zamarripa
A Coca-Cola bottler and distributor based in Mexico has been hit with a ruling of Reverse Domain Hijacking by the World Intellectual Property Organization after attempting to grab the domain kof.com using the UDRP process. Coca-Cola Femsa, S.A.B. DE C.V., based in Mexico City, Mexico, is the one of Latin America’s largest franchise bottlers of Coca-Cola products, and trades under the stock symbol KOF on the New York Stock Exchange. The company alleged the respondent in the case, Web10 Solutions, Inc., of Seychelles, had acquired the domain to profit from the value of that stock symbol. Coca-Cola Femsa also argued the domain violated a number of recent trademark registrations in Mexico, in 2021 and 2022. However, the WIPO panel noted the company’s trademarks were granted several years after the domain was acquired by its current owner, in 2013. The panel further stated they did not believe the stock symbol, alone, would impart any trademark value for Coca-Cola Femsa.
For its part, the WIPO panel, also lambasted the complainant for what it described as a naked effort to use the UDRP process to acquire a domain name after a failed purchase attempt. The complainant cited several failed purchase attempts as bad-faith registration on the part of the respondent, an argument the panel rejected.
“[A]s it has been stated in many previous decisions, a complainant is at risk of a RDNH declaration when its attempt to try and buy a domain name is not successful, and it tries to obtain it by using, or rather ‘abusing’, the UDRP,” the panel wrote.
The RDNH ruling was handed up October 18, 2022.