The on line ordering coordinator for Jet’s America (Jet’s Pizza) noticed something fishy when she typed the words www.jetspiza.com into her browser: she was redirected to the ordering page for Pizza Hut. What was going on? That’s when she contacted Attorney Barbara Mandell for help.
Fishman Stewart Attorneys Barb Mandell and Melissa Atherton agreed that it was unlikely that Pizza Hut itself would have “typosquatted” Jet’s intellectual property. They figured it was more likely that an agent of Pizza Hut was paying domain name owners for redirects to the Pizza Hut ordering page, without knowing the domain names involved. So, they considered but decided that a demand letter to Pizza Hut would be a waste of time. What to do?
Mandell and Atherton brought a UDRP proceeding before the National Arbitration Forum to demand transfer of the domain name to Jet’s America.
On November 12, 2015, the client and attorneys got their decision: finding the JET’S PIZZA mark famous and enforceable, and the www.jetspiza domain name registered in bad faith, the arbitrator ordered the domain name to be transferred to Jet’s.
In the process, it was discovered that the typosquatter of the www.jetspiza.com domain name is an individual who allegedly resides in Chile, named Ryan Foo. Not only does Mr. Foo own dozens if not hundreds of typosquatted domain names, he has repeatedly been found guilty of bad faith in acquiring them. He also has been found guilty of setting up malware at the redirected web sites, to infect those who unwittingly land there, with computer viruses. To avoid these problems, it is always best to acquire a variety of domain names, including those with typographical errors. It is also always best to eat pizza.
Read the full decision here.
If you suspect a typosquatter is linked to your business website, contact Barbara Mandell or Melissa Atherton at Fishman Stewart PLLC for assistance.