The Gaudi & Barcelona Club wins the battle against the Casa Batllo for the domain name

Last June 2009, the Casa Batllo, property of the Bernat family, brought a lawsuit against the Gaudi & Barcelona Club before the World Intellectual Property Organisation in Geneva (Switzerland) in order to forcibly obtain the domain, the legitimate owner of which was the Gaudi & Barcelona Club.

The plaintiff alleged that the company Casa Batllo S.L. which commercially exploits the emblematic building in Barcelona, had the brand name registered at the same time as the domain name and also accused the Gaudi Club of using the name in bad faith. In turn, the Gaudi Club, through its President, Mr Eduard Sole and his legal representative Mr Daniel Martinez from the law firm Marben Abogados, responded to the accusation by arguing that the registration of the domain was prior to the registration of the brand on the part of the Casa Batllo and that Casa Batllo is not simply a brand to which someone can claim exclusivity but the name of a world renowned work of art classified as World Heritage, and therefore this denomination should not be treated as if it were simply a registered name or commercial emblem.

To this effect, the decision of the WIPO arbitrator, the illustrious Luis H. De Larramendi, partner of the Elzaburu law firm and responsible for this case, with the Plaintiff being Casa Batllo S.L. and the Defendant Gaudi i Barcelona Club, is literally quoted as follows:

"In effect, the conduct of the Defendant does not incur, in any of the circumstances, anything that would constitute proof of registration and use in bad faith in accordance with paragraph 4.b) of the Policy. It does not appear that the Defendant had any intention of re-selling the domain name to the Plaintiff, nor that the registration of the domain name in question were effected to impede or interfere with the peaceable use of its brand on the part of the Plaintiff. Neither does it appear that the registration of the domain name was effected for the purposes of disturbing their commercial activity, as in fact the defendant promotes the Casa Batllo, with the Plaintiff benefitting therefrom. Lastly, neither does there appear to be any deliberate attempt to attract Internet users to their website for profit-making purposes, creating the possibility that there be any confusion with the brand of the Plaintiff, given that as has been pointed out the use of a name which designates one of the most well-known works of Antoni Gaudi is congruent with the promotional activity relating to his work carried out by the Plaintiff".

For these reasons the lawsuit has been over-ruled and the ownership of the domain name has been transferred back to its legitimate owner, the Asociacion Gaudi i Barcelona Club.

This Association has expressed its satisfaction with this decision, as it thereby recognises the efforts of the Gaudi Club in promoting and spreading awareness of the work of Antoni Gaudi in all its magnitude, the principal mission and objective of this association since its inception.


Associacio Gaudi i Barcelona Club d'Internet. Non profit organization created to promote the life and work of Antoni Gaudi worldwide, basically, over the Internet. Its 16,500 present members, of all the nationalities, are permanently informed about all regarding to Gaud and Modernism through our magazine Gaud News and website. In its eagerness of expanding the culture and promoting the figure of Gaudi everywhere, the Club is in contact with a great amount of architects, art historians, designers, teachers and many other Gaudi admirers. Our Club collaborates with Universities, Art Centers, Museums, Institutions and Cultural Associations of different countries, offering collaboration and experience in exhibitions, fairs, conferences, courses and cultural events in general. Spokesman of the Royal Gaudi Chair of Barcelona by Internet, is the most complete web about Antoni Gaudi and his works.

| Top | Homepage l