Domain-Name “Lonely Planet”

The Complainant, Lonely Planet Publications Pty, Ltd, of Australia, is the publisher of independent travel books, and since 1973 has published approximately 444 titles, distributed in over 118 countries, under the LONELY PLANET trademark.  At the time of the filing of the instant complaint, the disputed domain name, www.lonelyplanethotels.com, was being used to redirect traffic to www.hotelsonline.net, but now points to a generic webpage containing sponsored links, among other links to the Complainant which are shown as a sponsored link.  The Respondent did not reply to the Complaint.

In finding the disputed domain name to be “confusingly similar” the Panel held that “[a] non-distinctive addition of the generic term ‘hotels’ to the widely known trademark LONELY PLANET does not sufficiently differentiate the domain name at issue from the Complainant’s trademarks.”  Ultimately, the Panel also found that the Respondent had no legitimate interest with respect to the disputed domain name and the disputed domain name was both registered and being used in bad faith and ordered the disputed domain name be transferred to the Complainant.  Lonely Planet Publications Pty Ltd v. Moker Privacy Services / Darren Abela, WIPO Case No. D2008-0475