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Vietnam: Landmark win in LAFARGE domain name dispute.

People's Court in Da Nang City, 2014.


Verdict No. 05/2014/KDTM-ST
Facts: In 2009, Lafarge of 61 Rue Des Belles Feuilles F - 75116 Paris, France, discovered that
the Vietnamese domain name www.lafarge.com.vn had been registered by Pham Thi Ngoc Han,
a woman from Da Nang. Concerned about cybersquatting, in February 2010, Lafarge sent a
cease-and-desist letter to the registrant, seeking a voluntary return of the domain name to
Lafarge. In reply to the letter, Han brazenly demanded $1.2 million for the return of the domain
name. Lafarge decided to proceed with legal actions to retrieve the disputed domain name.
Issue:
1. Did M.s Ngoc Hans actions cybersquatting the name of lafarge.com.vn and using the
name for obstructing LAFARGE and re-selling the name for benefits violate the
trademark right and negatively effect the brand name of LAFARGE company ?
2. Did Ms Hans ations of using the site Lafarge.com.vn for advertising and sales of
construction material prejudice the reputation or popularity of the mark LAFARGE ?
Ruling:
1. Both of the answers of the questions are Yes. The domain name "lafarge.com.vn"
is used on bad faith which is evidenced by M.s Hans offer for sale of such domain
name which has constituted an unfair competition, infringing the trademark rights
over LAFARGE.

2. People's Court in Da Nang City decided and rendered a judgement No.


05/2014/KDTM-ST to withdraw the domain name lafarge.com.vn and give priority
for the LAFARGE company to register the disputed domain name within 10
consecutive days upon the legal effect of the judgement.
Reasons:
1. At the time of initiation and acceptance of the case, the trademark "LAFARGE",
"LAFARGE & device" are still protected in Vietnam.
2. There is no authorization or trade representative agreement between LAFARGE and
Ms. Pham Thi Ngoc Han. Ms. Han has not direct or indirect relation with the mark
"LAFARGE".

3. The website "lafarge.com.vn" has linked to lafarge.jimdo.com, in both home page


and the expanded page in the website, the letter "L" is visible in a direct way, which
is bold with sizeable font on the light blue shadow, in the middle of the letter "L", the
verbal element "LAFARGE" is represented in the black font in a prominent way,
below is the element . com.vn", LAFARGE deems that the aforesaid sign is
identical to its mark "LAFARGE & device".
4. Ms. Pham Thi Ngoc Han registers the domain name "lafarge.com.vn" for the purpose
of possessing the right to use the domain name, aiming at obstructing LAFARGE to
register the domain name and for re-sales for benefits.
Reference
http://www.kenfoxlaw.com/news/496-ip-news/13380-first-case-to-successfully-reclaim-thedomain-name-vn-through-court.html
http://www.managingip.com/Article/3362435/Vietnam-Landmark-win-in-Lafarge-domain-namedispute.html
http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/cybersquatting-what-what-can-be-29778.html