Panelist Blasts Credit Europe Bank for “Flagrant Abuse” of UDRP
Lawyer states that his client’s interests are more important than domain owner’s, so they should get the domain name.
A World Intellectual Property Organization domain arbitration panelist has some harsh words for Credit Europe Bank and lawyer Novagraaf Nederland after it brought a case against the owner of CreditEurope.com.
The registrant of CreditEurope.com got the domain name in 2003, several years before Credit Europe Bank started trading under the Credit Europe name. In its case, Credit Europe’s lawyer said the business had been in existence since 1994, but failed to mention the name change.
Panelist Richard Lyon said Credit Europe tried to mislead the panel with this omission, violating the lawyer’s certification, required by paragraph 3(b)(xiv) of the Rules, â€œthat the information contained in this Complaint is to the best of Complainantâ€™s knowledge complete and accurate, . . .â€
Lyon also said the complainant violated paragraph 3(b)(xiv) for not suggesting a reason the panel should deviate from significant precedent that a domain name registered prior to the date a trademark is used can’t be registered in bad faith.
But perhaps most troubling in the dispute is the Credit Europe lawyer’s claim that it is more important than the domain owner, so it should get the domain name. The lawyer literally wrote:
It should be clear that my clientâ€™s interests are more important and carry bigger weight than the interests of the Respondent, and therefore it is justified if the domain name is transferred to [it].
Richard Lyon responded:
Bluntly stated, Complainant, or Complainantâ€™s representative, seems to believe not only that under some inchoate and undisclosed standard that Complainant has a greater entitlement to the domain name than Respondent, but also that this belief justifies relief in a UDRP proceeding. This latter assertion of course has no foundation in the Policy, and its use constitutes a flagrant abuse of the entire UDRP process
Lyon said Credit Europe had “no excuse” for its failure to understand UDRP.
Amazingly, Lyon was the only one of three panelists to find Credit Europe brought the case in an attempt at reverse domain name hijacking. All three, however, believed the domain name wasn’t registered in bad faith.
The respondent was represented by domain name attorney John Berryhill.