UDRP panelist cites whois privacy as reason for not finding RDNH.
A single member National Arbitration Forum panel has found in favor of the owner of Finell.com, but declined to find reverse domain name hijacking because the owner used a whois privacy service.
The UDRP complaint was brought by Finell Co., LLC, which has its origins around 2011. Architect Filip Finell registered Finell.com in 2000 and started using it to promote his architecture firm. He later took his site down and the hosting company added a parked page to the site.
These facts alone were enough to find in favor of the domain name owner.
Yet panelist Kendall C. Reed declined to find Finell Co. guilty of reverse domain name hijacking. Reed noted that Filip Finell added whois privacy to the domain name in recent years and this would make it difficult for the complainant to understand the ownership of the domain name.
Reed might be right here. If the complainant filed the case and knew that the domain was owned by someone with the last name Finell that had owned the domain since 2000, it would certainly be reverse domain name hijacking. But if the complainant didn’t know these facts because of the privacy, it’s more difficult to find the complainant at fault.
The complainant did try to contact the domain owner through the privacy email prior to filing the complaint.