Vacation rental directory loses domain name dispute.
HomeAway.com, Inc. has lost its domain dispute for HomeAwayFromHome.com against Frank Schilling’s Name Administration. Name Administration was defended by domain attorney John Berryhill.
Name Administration bought the domain name for $1,400 in an expired domain name auction in 2005. HomeAway.com acquired the Home Away From Home trademark from another company in 2007.
The arbitration panel at National Arbitration Forum found that Name Administration had rights and legitimate interests in the generic domain name. The panel found that Name Administration’s use of the domain name as a pay-per-click web site was a bona fide use of the domain name, and also noted that HomeAway.com does not have exclusive rights to the common phrase “home away from home”:
The Panel also finds that the terms of the homeawayfromhome.com domain name are generic and of common use and therefore, Complainant does not have an exclusive monopoly on the terms on the Internet.
Hurting HomeAway.com’s case was that, although it acquired the trademark “Home Away from Home”, it has barely used the term in commerce — and has used it in its generic nature on its web site.