PR firm filed UDRP after failing to buy domain name.
A three-member World Intellectual Property Organization panel has
denied a UDRP for the domain name Hopscotch.com. It did not find the complainant to have engaged in reverse domain name hijacking for the domain name, however.
Joseph Lee bought the domain name for over $10,000 in 2010 with plans to create a game site.
Complainant Hopscotch Group of Paris is a PR company.
The complainant uses the domain name hopscotchgroupe.com and also owns domains like Hopscotch.us and Hopscotch.fr.
Hopscotch Group offered to buy the domain name for $30,000, and filed the UDRP when it wasn’t able to come to terms with the domain name owner.
The panel found that Lee did not register the domain name in bad faith. Even though he didn’t create a game using the domain name, it’s acceptable to buy a generic domain name with an eye toward selling it.
However, the panel did not find Hopscotch Group guilty of reverse domain name hijacking. The panel wrote:
The Panel considers the Complainant’s case to be relatively weak, insofar as it was based on an ordinary dictionary word. However the fact that the Complainant was a very substantial organisation, the Domain Name corresponded to its name, the Domain Name was not being used by the Respondent and that he asked for a substantial sum for it when approached are all factors which mean that, in the Panel’s view the Complainant could genuinely form a view that its Complaint might have had some prospect of success, depending on the evidence and what the Respondent said.