Company ordered to pay $5,000 after reverse domain name hijacking charge

Panel believe complainant was trying to use arbitration as a “short cut” to acquire domain.

Domain name attorney Zak Muscovitch has helped the owner of save his domain name in a cybersquatting arbitration case. Not only that, but the arbitration panel found the complainant guilty of reverse domain name hijacking and ordered it to pay $5,000.

.ca disputes are subject to the Canadian Internet Registration Authority Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (CDRP). Although rare, panels can levy fines against complainants for reverse domain name hijacking (RDNH) under the CDRP. This differs from the standard UDRP that applies to .com and many other top level domains. In UDRP there’s no monetary penalty for RDNH.

The panel wrote that “there is a very strong suggestion that the Complainant has sought to use this process as a short cut to acquire the Domain Name”.

This isn’t the first time Muscovitch has won an award in a CDRP case. In fact, he represented the respondent in the first such case in which a penalty was levied.


  1. Ming Jen Ho says

    This is an important case in that it represents the first rdnh ruling in Canada where the complainant was represented by counsel.

    The complaint presented by Ms.
    Samantha Kernahan of the firm McLennan Ross in Edmonton contained misstatements of fact so brazen that they had to have been written with the notion that no one would bother to question the veracity of their claims. Claiming Canadian trademark rights where none existed. Claiming trademark rights in the US citing a registration which proved to have been an application that had in fact been refused registration by examiners at the uspto. Im not sure which law school ms kernahan attended howwever im guessing intellectual property and trademarks may not have been her major.
    The case turns out to be a great study in the dichotomy of good vs bad lawyering.
    Muscovith painted a very clear picture for the panel of an attempted and fraudulent theft of intellectual property thinly disguised as a legal claim. Kernahan on the other hand seemed to make what one might conclude were rookie type mistakes like making false claims that were easy refutable like the tm claim, misrepresenting the nature and history of the relationship between the parties, the omission of information critical to her case. The picture zak painted made it clear that the claim was frivolous and abusive
    Most RDNH rulings have arisen from
    Challenges to generic names come to mind
    In this case we have more of a coined type non generic domain name that corresponds to a directly to a trade name being used in commerce by the complainant under license. The point is that given the domain name and the nature of the relationship between the parties one would not generally expect to get an rdnh given the circumstances said to be at play here. But as their claims and case came unraveled it became clear to the panel that the pleadings were an abuse of the CDrp panel and process itself
    Congratulations are due the respondent fir defending his property, Zak for his legal artistry, and to the panel for their sound judgement and for their courage in applying the rules available to them as intended

  2. says

    Even if UDRP imposes financial penalties, though, collecting them (especially when two parties are in different parts of the globe) presents other challenges.

    Good one on the win, Zak.

  3. says

    The Complainant is Visionary Motorsports Ltd.

    I wanted to post the company name in this article so it has a chance of showing up in a search for Visionary Motorsports Ltd. and RDNH.

    The thieves should be known as such to prevent other thieves from stealing other people’s intellectual property.

  4. Steve says

    All complainants should have to post at least a $5,000 bond or cash with the tribunal as a condition of having their case heard.

    If RDNH is found, the domain owner gets the money. If not, they get it back.

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