Zale Fails to Win Rights to Gordons.com Domain

An arbitration panel on March 22 declined to give Zale Corp.
rights to the Gordons.com domain, which it wanted for its Gordon’s Jewelers division,
according to a website
that covers the domain industry.

The company had challenged Lee Gordon, who registered the Gordons.com
domain in 1995. The company argued its Gordon’s division is commonly known by
the name “Gordon’s,” and that the domain was “confusing similar” to its Gordon
Marks.

Zale complained that Gordon “is not using the Domain Name in
connection with any bona fide offering of goods and services,” labeling it a
“parked website,” according to the panel decision. And indeed, at press time, Gordons.com seemed to be basically barren.

However, Gordon argued that the site was connected to his
Gordon Tree Farm in Arkansas, and that he used it for personal and
noncommercial use.  He added that he
used Gordons.com for his personal email, and having to give up the domain would
call “irreparable personal harm.”

Gordon further argued that “because the term of Gordons.com is
common and generic or descriptive, Complainant does not have an exclusive
monopoly on the term on the Internet.” He notes that he never tried to sell the
domain, even though he received offers as high as $20,000, though lately had
begun using the services of a “domain monetization” company which contacted
him.

The panel found that Gordon did not register the name in
“bad faith,” and said that Gordon had shown “rights and legitimate interest to
the name.”

The full ruling can be seen here. Zale declined comment.

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