In a 3 panelist ruling Vertical Axis holds on to ParkRoyal.com but there is no finding of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking.
1. The Parties
1.1 The Complainants are Grupo Costamex, S.A. de C.V. (“Costamex”) of Mexico City, Mexico and Operación y Supervisión de Hoteles, S.A. de C.V. (“Opyssa”) of Cancun, Mexico, represented internally.
1.2 The Respondent is Vertical Axis Inc. of Barbados, represented by ESQwire.com PC, United States of America.
4.1 The Complainants are part of the same group of companies and conduct business in the tourism sector. One of the Complainants, Costamex, is the parent company in this group. The Complainants’ business began in Mexico in 1984.
4.2 The Complainants’ revenues in 2010 were USD 222 million and they have 30 sales offices around the world. Their customer base comes from a large number of countries but is primarily from the North American continent.
4.3 The Complainants’ business first used the “Park Royal” brand in relation to its hotels in 1989. “Park Royal” hotels have subsequently been opened in various places in Mexico and Puerto Rico. The Complainants’ group of companies has been part of the RCI affiliation program since 1999, which has resulted in its Park Royal hotels being promoted among the RCI’s 3.7 million members around the world.
4.4 The Complainants also promote their business from a website operating from the url “www.royal-holiday.com”.
4.5 One of the Complainants, Costamex, is the owner of various trade marks that comprise of or incorporate the term “Park Royal” in one form or another in Mexico, the United States and Puerto Rico. Those marks include:
(i) Mexican registered trade mark no. 669695 for the word mark PARKROYAL in class 42 with a filing date of May 6, 1998. This is the earliest registered trade mark relied upon.
(ii) United States registered trade mark no. 3146797 for the word mark PARK ROYAL in class 39.
4.6 The Respondent is a well-known dealer and speculator in domain names. A company with the name Vertical Axis Inc. was incorporated in the British Virgin Islands, Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in January 2002, but this would appear to be the predecessor in business to the Respondent, which is incorporated in Barbados with company no. 24264. Although it is registered in Barbados and two of its directors give addresses in Barbados, its third director, Mr. Ham, has an address in Vancouver, Canada.…