RPG Life Sciences Ltd guilty of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking

Company filed dispute against domain name clearly being used for another legitimate purpose.

Pharmaceuticals and biotech business RPG Life Sciences Ltd. of Mumbai has been found guilty of reverse domain name hijacking in a domain name dispute.

World Intellectual Property Organization panelist Nicholas Weston found that RPG Life Sciences had filed a UDRP in bad faith in an attempt to get the domain name RPGlife.com. The domain name is owned by a Wisconsin man who used the domain name to forward to a role playing game websites. RPG is a common acronym that stands for “role playing game”.

Despite this obvious use, RPG Life Sciences argued that the domain owner registered the domain in bad faith and that he had no rights or legitimate interests in the domain name.

On the issue of whether or not someone could be confused by the domain name and and pharma company, Weston wrote (here):

Applying a very conservative standard, the Panel shall refer to as the “idiot in a hurry” test, not even an idiot in a hurry could be misled that neither the Respondent’s website, nor the website it resolves to, is in any way connected with the Complainant.

On the issue of RDNH, Weston writes:

…the Panel considers that the Complainant’s professional representative should have appreciated, even on a rudimentary examination of the Policy and its application in this area, that the Complaint could not succeed where the Respondent’s Disputed Domain Name is a widely recognized acronym and is being used to promote goods and services available for purchase in that field, as it had no reasonable hope of meeting the conjunctive requirement of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.

…Finally, it should also be said that it was the Complainant who, on no evidence at all, accused the Respondent of acting in bad faith and that there was “no plausible explanation” as to the Respondent’s use (and presumably choice) of the Disputed Domain Name. That, itself, is an act of bad faith and is part of the reason why the Panel has made the finding of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking. Such allegations should not be made lightly or without cogent evidence to support them and certainly not where, after obtaining instructions, it must have been apparent to the Complainant that no such allegation could properly be made against the Respondent. Indeed, in a curious inversion of the roles of the Complainant and the Respondent, it was the Complainant who tendered evidence that the Respondent’s website was ostensibly concerned with Role Playing Games and activities associated with it and hence entirely legitimate and in good faith.

The complainant was represented by Anand & Anand.


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