Domain Name Wire

Domain Name Wire

  • BMEzine.com Picks up BME.com in WIPO Dispute

    1. BY - Aug 28, 2008
    2. Policy & Law
    3. 12 Comments

    Gregory Ricks loses three character domain name.

    Long time domainer Gregory Ricks has lost the domain name BME.com to BMEzine.com, LLC. Ricks lost the case because of the content of recent parked pages on the domain and because the panel found that his initial registration in 2000 was not relevant because he transferred the domain between entities since then.

    BMEzine.com is an ezine about body piercing, tattoos, etc. For the past couple years the domain has shown parked pages including ads for “Tattoo supplies” and “body piercing”. That didn’t look good to the panel.

    What is more interesting is that the panel found that the date of initial registration should not be 2000, when Ricks originally got the domain name. He’s transferred the domain between entities he owns and different privacy services since then. Because one of the transfers between privacy services happened after BMEzine filed a service mark for BME, the panel judged that he made the transfer solely to “conceal his identity as long as possible.” A footnote says the panel can’t explain why he moved the domain between entities a couple times prior to being contacted by BMEzine. I think this would be relevant to the case.

    So here’s a case that shows once again how important it is to protect three character domains. Had the ads on the parked pages had nothing to do with body art, my bet is Ricks would still own the domain.

    Below: one of the parked pages from BME.com.

    bme.com

12 Comments
  • WIPO cases are getting out of hand with no legal basis at all behind them. UDRP panels have created rules all to themselves now. Amazing whats going on while the industry lobby groups are collecting funds and doing NOTHING. ICA has not said a word about any wrongfully decided cases and plans to not even address the UDRP process. This industry needs a legal group to promote reforms within the UDRP policies.

  • Sorry to be the devil’s advocate here but as much as I empathize with Gregory in this situation, it is clearly his own fault for not properly optimizing BME.com and at the same time, profiting from BMEzine.com’s popularity.

    On the other hand, one might argue that it’s impossible for someone with thousands (millions?) of domain names to possibly monitor every single one.

    Well, WIPO and BMEzine might say, “That’s not our problem is it?”

    All IMHO of course. :)

    Hope all LLL.com owners of possibly similar brands take the effort to optimize their parking pages.

  • lzy – It is clear that if the parked pages hadn’t show ads that were all specific to BMEzine’s line of business, the panel would have found in Rick’s favor. The question becomes if it was worth it for him to have a couple years worth of revenue related to tattoos and such in return for ultimately losing the domain. I doubt it.

  • Exactly. The ads and the associated photos undermined the Defendant’s credibility tremendously. It was an obvious intent to profit from the Complainant, any objective party can clearly see that. Should he have won? Of course, but only IF he had not displayed the ads and the associated photos. But he played with fire, tried to profit from the obvious confusion, (and mostly likely did so) and got burned. Worst of all, he provided yet another precedent to threaten legitimate domain registrants’ domains. This moron merits a blanket party at the next conference.

  • Good stuff JB, and good luck !

  • […] name isn’t as cheap as complainant BMEzine.com, LLC thought it would be. BMEzine.com, LLC won the domain BME.com at a WIPO arbitration, but respondent Gregory Ricks has filed a lawsuit against the company to block the transfer. He is […]

  • […] to protect three character domain names at UDRP through strong responses and even lawsuits. When he lost an arbitration for BME.com, he quickly filed a lawsuit to block the transfer. I sent and email to Ricks asking for an […]

  • […] World Intellectual Property Organization, ¬†which promptly found in favor of BME. (Also discussed here.) Easy enough, right? All’s well that ends well and all that good […]

  • Its clear to me that he only began adding tattoo an piercing links to his page when he saw the flood of traffic he had been getting from bmezzine (whether or not this was his original intention). Bme stands for body modification ezine and thus the 3 letter abreviation has been around on bmezine for more then a decade. I suppose the only reason they hadn’t copyrighted it sooner was on account of the fact that the abreviation seems self explanitory when reffering to the ezine website. Long story short he was taking advantage of a site that had been around for a good while and I’m suprised that leagal action hadn’t been taken earlier.

  • I deal with Rick years ago when he have domain snap service and I buy backorders that don’t work. When I ask him for refund when I finally get ahold of him, he tell me to blow off. Bad boy this Rick!

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