Medical Tourism Association re-directs Bumrungrad visitors and patients
MTA member, Bumrungrad Hospital in Thailand, is the latest industry player to be affected by the MTA’s domain registration activities. Bumrungrad Hospital is one of the leading medical tourism destinations in Asia.
Their website is www.bumrungrad.com
A common misspelling of their brand name is Brumrungrad.
The domain name brumrungrad.com has been registered by Jonathan Edelheit, CEO of the Medical Tourism Association.
Web users, Bumrungrad visitors, customers and patients who misspell the Bumrungrad brand name go to www.brumrungrad.com...and are automatically redirected to the web site of...the Medical Tourism Association.
ICANN rules are very specific about use of a domain name in “bad faith”:
- “by using the domain name, you have intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to your web site or other on-line location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the complainant's mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of your web site or location or of a product or service on your web site or location.”
MTA plans three years ahead for two hour lunch meeting..... the “Employer Medical Tourism Connection 2014”
Last week IMTJ highlighted the registration of domain names by the MTA’s Edelheit (see the full list of 370 Edelheit domain names) and specifically those which are alleged to conflict with the long established EMTC (European Medical Travel Conference) brand of Dr Uwe Klein.
The EMTC uses a domain name each year in the format emtc2010, emtc2011, emtc2012.
Edelheit registered emtc21014 and the event brand europeanmedicaltravelconference.com.
One day after the appearance of the IMTJ news story, a WHOIS check showed that the registration of the disputed emtc21014 domain had changed from Edelheit to the Medical Tourism Association.
A web site has now appeared at www.emtc2014.com...for the “Employer Medical Tourism Connection”, New York City, New York February 2014. It says “the Medical Tourism Association will be hosting the "Employer Medical Tourism Connect" a 2 hour lunch and learn meeting from 12 pm to 2 pm”.
Response from MTA
IMTJ has contacted Renee Stephano, President of the MTA, requesting an explanation of the above actions and specifically a response to the following questions:
1. Does the MTA intend to transfer or to request the transfer of the disputed domains to the existing brand owners – Bumrungrad Hospital, EMTC, Arab Health (Informa) and QHA Trent?
2. In terms of MTA activity and policy on domain names and online marketing:
a. Does the MTA or its executives hold other domain names that either closely relate to or are misspellings of existing medical tourism brand and trade names?
b. Are any of these domain names used to re-direct visitors to the MTA web site, as is the case with www.brumrungrad.com?
c. Does the MTA recommend the practice of domain speculation and multiple domain registration to its members?
d. Does the MTA support the ICANN rules on domain registrations and support compliance with these as sound business practice?
Despite repeated requests via email and phone, the MTA has declined to comment on the above.
Date published: 27 October 2011
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