Richemont International, owner of IWC watches, files 7 UDRP complaints

Richemont International SA, owner of IWC watches, filed 7 UDRP complaints on a single day (10th of January 2013) with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center. All complaints are related to their IWC trademark. Some of the domain names have developed websites selling replica IWC watches so this seems more of an attempt to stop counterfeit products than an attempt to stop cyber squatting. This is not always a good decision as the consensus view is that the UDRP was not created for companies to fight counterfeit goods or copies. Oakley Inc. had a UDRP complaint denied at the National Arbitration Forum (NAF) over myfakeoakleysunglasses.com and  Dyson was taught a hard lesson by loosing 2 UDRP complaints in a row.

The company had only filed for 8 complaints in total in the past years. One in 2005, one in 2007, one in 2008, two in 2009, two in 2010 and one in 2012. 3 of these complaints resulted in a domain name transfer to Richemont International while the other 5 were terminated before a decision was reached. This was probably because the previous owner transfered the domains to Richemont International before the UDRP Panel appointment and decision.

These 7 complaints could mean that Richemont International just retained a new legal counsel and I am sure many complaints will follow.

Richemont International SA is a Switzerland-based luxury goods holding company founded in 1988 by South African businessman Johann Rupert. Through its various subsidiaries, Richemont designs, manufactures, distributes and sells premium jewelery, watches, leather goods, writing instruments, clothing and accessories. Richemont is a publicly traded company listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange and on the JSE Securities Exchange. As of November 2012 Compagnie Financière Richemont SA is the sixth largest corporation by market capitalization in the Swiss Market Index. As of 2009, Richemont is the third-largest luxury goods company in the world. In July 2000, IWC was acquired by Richemont.

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About Konstantinos Zournas

Konstantinos studied Computer Engineering and Computer Science in London and lives in Athens, Greece. He loves domains and building websites. He is online since 1995, learned about html in 1996 and got into domains in 2002. He started the OnlineDomain.com blog in 2012.

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