Souq.com FZ LLC
Ruiling Wang, Comcom Communications LLC
01:28 pm 21-Dec-2016
You know it must be a case that's out of the ordinary when Tony Willoughby is appointed as Chair of a 3-member Panel! The finding of laches makes this case rather unusual as this defense is generally disfavored in UDRP case law (as noted in the WIPO Overview 2.0 to which the Panel cites). However, all the circumstances of a case may make it appropriate to consider in some situations like this. I would have expected the Complainant to know about a competitor in its own city fairly soon after that other company gains some significant business. Further, as soon as it would have learned of the upstart, I'd have expected it to at least send a demand letter. Failing any progress from that, a court action for trademark infringement sounds in-order. Rushing off with a UDRP complaint against the domain seems, in this situation, to be putting the cart before the horse. My best guess is that the Complainant was either trying to save costs or simply had little confidence in its case (based on the meaning of the word "souk") and decided to use the UDRP as a test balloon. Regardless, its path forward seems quite a bit harder (or, at least, more expensive) now in light of this decision.
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