Macth.com owner sues Match.com and CitizenHawk after losing UDRP
Friday, August 31st, 2012
Domain owner files complaint to halt transfer of domain name after losing UDRP.
The owner of Macth.com has sued online dating company Match.com and domain name recovery firm CitizenHawk after losing a UDRP for her domain name.
In a complaint filed in the Southern District of Florida (pdf), Liz Eddy is asking for declaratory relief and financial penalties. She says Macth.com is a generic typo.
Eddy lost a UDRP for Macth.com on August 15. She alleges that Match.com fabricated evidence by bidding on the term “macth”:
Upon information and belief, Defendant Match.com and / or Defendant Citizenhawk, or their agent, placed a bid to have Defendant’s Match.com’s advertisement for matching services displayed in response to lnternet searches for the word ‘macth.’ Dedendants then used the advertisement shown on Plaintiffs webpage as result of Plaintiff’s adverting (sic) provider Google.com to self generate evidence purporting to show evidence in support Defendant’s claim of Plaintiff’s bad faith registration and use of the Domain Name, something the Defendants could not show absent fabricating this evidence. Plaintiff did not cause Defendant Match.com’s website to be reachable on the webpage shown, rather Defendants or their agents did by paying to put their MATCH.COM advertising link at the top of the web page.
The panelist in the case did not address Eddy’s allegations of the evidence being manipulated.
Eddy also alleges that Match.com’s representative in the UDRP, CitizenHawk, “is not licensed to represent others in legal proceedings including arbitration.”
She also says that she’s been using the domain since she registered it in 2000:
After registering the Domain Name, Plaintiff made demonstrable efforts to use the Domain Name for testing and development and did use the domain name for testing of patent pending algortithms (sic).
A quick look shows the domain name has been parked since at least 2005, and much of that time Match.com was the top result on the web page.
Eddy is representing herself in the legal action.
CitizenHawk has not responded specifically about this lawsuit, but reiterated what the company’s CEO told me in July: “CitizenHawk represents its clients exclusively upon their consent and doesn’t provide legal advice – and NEVER has. CitizenHawk facilitates the dispute process in collaboration with each client’s legal staff and does NOT file a UDRP unless and until it receives prior approval from the client’s legal counsel.”
Additionally, two sources have told me that a complaint was filed previously with the California Bar regarding CitizenHawk’s representation services and the California Bar decided it didn’t warrant taking action.