Yo Quiero Domain Name - Yum! Brands (Taco Bell) v. Nelson Wellness & Therapy Center

You may have seen Taco Bell's New Year weight loss campaign, "Drive Thru Diet."  I have to admit, I have sampled the menu. Taco Bell acquired www.drivethrudiet.com prior to the campaign launch in 2010, but did not secure www.drivethroughdiet.com, a domain owned by a Georgia weight loss center.

Yum! Brands, the parent company of Taco Bell, filed a UDRP Bad Faith action to acquire the Georgia weight loss center's domain name.

The arbitration panel denied Yum! Brand's request to transfer drivethroughdiet.com based on 4 factors:

  • 1) Drivethrudiet.com was under construction until December 21, 2009;
  • 2) Yum! Brands did not provide evidence of using their trademark first;
  • 3) The trademark registration for, DRIVE-THRU DIET was assigned to Yum! Brands in October 2008, and
  • 4) There was no evidence the Georgia weight loss center had registered and used their domain in bad faith.

To be successful on an UDRP bad faith/cybersquatting claiming the following factors must be meet:

  • Domain name in question is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark in which Complainant has rights
  • Respondent has no legitimate rights/interests in domain name
  • Domain name has been registered and used in bad faith.

Read the arbitration decision here.

Listen to attorney Tamera Bennett and attorney Gordon Firemark discuss this decision on the Entertainment Law Update Podcast Episode 8.