Donuts has successfully fought off another Legal Rights Objection against one of its new gTLD applications.
This time the objector was The Limited, apparently the operator of a large chain of clothing stores in the US, and the applied-for gTLD was .limited, which is uncontested.
Key to the World Intellectual Property Organization panelist’s decision appears to be the fact that the brand and the trademark in question is “The Limited” rather than “Limited”.
The retailer failed to show that it was commonly known by the word “Limited” alone, whereas Donuts made the case that “limited” is a common generic word with multiple uses.
The panelist wrote:
The definite article “the” makes a difference in this case. If the string were <.thelimited>, Applicant’s professed plans for the String would be highly suspect. This is because limited liability businesses do not use the term “the limited” (or an abbreviation or derivation thereof) in their company name.
In the absence of the definite article “the” in the String, however, Applicant’s proposed use of the String is plausible and legitimate, and the likelihood of confusion between Objector’s mark and the String is greatly reduced. There is simply no viable evidence in the record to suggest that significant source confusion – among consumers or non-consumers who use the Internet – will ensue if Applicant carries out its plans.
It’s the sixth LRO to be decided and the sixth finding in favor of the new gTLD applicant.
Donuts also fought off an objection from another clothing retailer, Express, which it is fighting for the .express gTLD.