eBUYGumm wins Nominet dispute against eBay and Gumtree

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Have you ever heard of the Yorkshire phrase ‘eeh bah gum’? In a clever play in words it’s the phrase that eBUYGumm say inspired them as the name for their marketplace.

eBay and Gumtree however didn’t agree contending in a dispute over the domain name asserted that the eBUY part was passing off as eBay and the gumm part was alluding to Gumtree. eBay and Gumtree, as joint complainant, asserted that they had Rights as defined in the Nominet DRS (Dispute Resolution Service) Policy in both their primary brands and that they had rights in the two brands combined.

Regarding the eBUY part of eBUYgumm, it was pointed out that internet users will focus on it because it appears at the start of the Disputed Domain. However it was also contended that in a similar manner Ebuyer have been operating for many years without any confusion between them and eBay.

eBay also got themselves into a confusing argument on the one hand saying that eBUYgumm is attracting people who might think the site is eBay and at the same time saying that the site disparaged eBay. You can’t have it both ways – either people will be led to believe the sites are connected or they’ll be very well aware that they are not which led the Independant Expert who wrote the decision to say “I have consequently found the complainants’ position in relation to this argument impossible to understand.”

The dispute was concluded saying that “The Disputed Domain contains at most a faint allusion to the complainants’ trade marks. It is not the sort of thing that an internet user looking for either trade mark would enter in error. I therefore reject this allegation too.”, “In the result all the complainants’ allegations fail and the complaint is dismissed.”

The decision of Nominet DRS was that that no action be taken on this complaint.

This is a case which eBUYgumm are describing as ‘David taking on Goliath and winning’. I’m just surprised they didn’t put out a press release saying “eeh bah gum we won”!


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