UDRP Complaints on Hotel Names Continue to Rise
As an attorney who represents a number of hotel and resort chains around the world on UDRP and cybersquatting matters, I see hotel names as one of the primary areas of cybersquatting on the internet. Because of the number of vendors who feed off of the hotel, resort and hospitality industry, this particular industry segment is ripe for cybersquatting. Everyone from travel agents to typo-squatters like to divert traffic from hotel and resort domain names to thier own websites often with pay-per-click advertising links as the only content (parking pages).
As reported by thedomains.com, Euro Watergate Hotel Residences, LLC Watergate Holdings, LLC recently files UDRP complaint with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) against the registrant of the domain names thewatergatehotel.com and watergatehotel.com. The domain name thewatergatehotel.com was previously owned and registered to The Watergate Hotel back in 2003. More recently, the ownership of the domain transferred to Rassul Hashemi of Virginia and despite the change of ownership in the domain name, the domain's DNS still seems to be pointing to a page allegedly created by The Watergate Hotel; a page that's been active since 2007 which states:
“We are currently undergoing a dramatic renovation and will not be accepting guests again until late 2009. While we are creating the most luxurious hotel in Washington, we ask for your patience.”
“Please visit this site often for updates on the work progressing at The Watergate Hotel. Should you have a question or require additional information, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.”