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Guntree vs Gumtree: Nominet orders domain loss

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It has been determined that the Guntree classified ads website for weapons and ammunition was sufficiently similar to Gumtree to constitute an “abusive registration” by the dot-UK registrar Nominet that Gumtree should be granted ownership of this web domain.As its name implies, is a classified ads website that allows users to post advertisements for weapons, ammunition, and other related things for sale or purchase. 

Registration of Guntree

According to Nominet, the company’s UK domain name, guntree.org.uk, was registered in 2013.Gumtree is a generic classified advertisements website, as most people are aware. As stated in its submission to Nominet, it is a completely owned subsidiary of eBay. According to the company, it has been in operation in the United Kingdom since the year 2000.In July of this year, Gumtree filed a complaint with Nominet’s Dispute Resolution Service, alleging that Guntree’s domain name was an abusive registration that infringed on Gumtree’s trademarked name. 

Guntree is situated in South Africa.The Complainant points out that the terms “gumtree” and “guntress” are nearly identical but for the letters “m” and “n,” and that this difference can be discovered in the middle of each word, and that both words begin with the same letters,” he continues. 

Distinction Between Domains

The Complainant contends that the distinction is easily overlooked, particularly given the visual and acoustic similarity of the letters m and n when written and their nearly identical sound when spoken,” said Andrew Lothian, an independent expert. The latter ruled on the complaint on behalf of Nominet.As a result, Guntree claimed there were sufficient dissimilarities between the Domain Name and the Complainant’s mark to prevent confusion. In addition to stating that “in the last four years, there has been no incident of miscommunication.”

Dissimilarities Between Guntree and Gumtree

On the other hand, Gumtree claimed there were “sufficient dissimilarities between the Domain Name and the Complainant’s mark to prevent confusion.”It went on to say that the term “gun” is descriptive of the company’s services, but the term “gum” has no relevance to the Complainant’s operations. 

The Respondent asserts that anyone who sees the various websites will tell the difference and will not be confused or misled. That confusion will be impossible or extremely unlikely.Furthermore, Gumtree expressly restricts the posting of gun-related advertisements, whereas Guntree is dedicated to serving that market.In addition, Guntree gave Nominet with a printout of a Google search for the terms “gun+tree” and “tree,” which was conducted by the company.

Final Words

According to Gumtree, “the Respondent’s explanation about its use of the term “guntree” is not credible, and “no rationale has been offered why an aesthetic image of a tree composed of firearms or wood would inspire the Respondent to select the name for its services,” the company said in response.

According to Nominet, this answer is “flimsy, to put it mildly.”Guntree’s objections were rejected by Lothian, who determined that the guntree.org.uk domain name was an abusive registration that infringed on the trademarked Gumtree name and ordered that it be transferred to Gumtree immediately after receiving the decision to transfer it.

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